Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals Science and Technology. Section A. Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals, Vol.353, 133-148, 2000
Inventory of world fibres and involvement of FAO in fibre research
Linen and hemp fabrics are among the oldest in the world; their history goes back to ca 8000 BC. In Central Europe, among the most notable discoveries of Polish archaeologists were linen textiles and fibres dating from 4000 BC, i.e, from the period known in archaeology as the Neolithic Age(). The fibres were used not only for textile applications but also as a reinforcement of ceramics as early as ca 6500 BC. Most of plants growing on earth are typical biotechnology products made of lignocellulosic natural polymer. They could be classified into three groups: annual, biannual and perennial plants. The lignocellulosic material of perennial plant origin is wood. In addition to wood, other lignocellulosic materials accompanied mankind for centuries, being used for constructing houses, making means of transport, furnishing, textiles. Nowadays, we apply not only natural fibres, but from the twentieth century man-made fibres as well. The world inventory of natural and man-made fibres in the aspect of their classification, potential and statistical data are presented. The involvement of the FAO Network in fibre research as well as the FAO programs are described.