The use of natural fibers dates as far back as 24,000 BC. Raw materials that can be spun derive from three categories of natural resources: plants (such as cotton and linen), animals (such as wool and silk), and minerals (such as gold and silver, used in embroidery).
While natural fibers enjoyed a monopoly for many centuries, over the past hundred years, they have gradually been replaced by chemical materials. Nevertheless, the worldwide production of natural fibers continues to rise in response to growing global consumption. Their inherent properties meet the call for comfort and durability, and advances in eco-friendlier farming models mean they are well positioned for those looking to source low-impact materials.
The natural fibers used in clothing fall into two main categories: natural plant fibers and natural animal fibers.