Fibre Types

Yarn is made from a variety of different fibres and it is important to have an understanding of where these fibres come from. The following table show some of the most common types and their origin:

 

Fibre type Yarn Origin
Natural (cellulose)
Cotton White boll which surrounds the seed of the cotton plant
Flax/linen Filament fibre from flax plants
Hemp Hemp plant (a Angiosperm phylum)
Jute Corchorus olitorius plant
Ramie Bark of Boehmeria nivea
Sisal Leaf of the Agave sisalana plant
Bamboo Stem of the bamboo plant
Paper Wood pulp
Abaca Leaf of the banana plant
Banana Stem of the banana plant
Pineapple Leaf of pineapple plant
Coir Husk of the coconut fruit
Lyocel (tencel) Wood pulp
Seacell Wood pulp and seaweed (algae)
Natural (protein)
Sheep wool Sheep hair
Alpaca Alpaca hair
Cashmere Cashmere goat
Mohair Angora goat
Angora rabbit Angora rabbit
Camel Camel hair
Horse Horse hair
Lama Lama hair
Mulberry Silk Silkworm cocoons
Tussah silk Tussah silk moth cocoon
Synthetic
Vicsose Wood pulp
Rayon Cellulose from a variety of plants
Polyester Synthetic resin
Elastane Minimum of 85% polyurethane polymer
Acrylic Minimum of 85% acrylonitrile monomer

 

Some fibres come from a natural source but are classed as synthetic. This is due to the manufacturing process the fibre has gone through to  and whether the end fibre is biodegradable.