Of late, there has been a fascination with natural fiber for various reasons. Natural fibers are those fibers that derive from natural sources. The very word natural has connotations of pristine, perfect, and hence, harmless, or positively beneficial. Although natural fibers can be of plant origin, animal origin or mineral origin, in some contexts the term does not include the last. Some more fastidious advocates of organic and natural fiber exclude even animal fibers like wool and leather (excepting the insect saliva based fiber like silk), given the controversy regarding use of fur, wool or leather.
Natural fibers came much before other forms of fibers. They have been fulfilling manís varied needs since ages. Cotton cultivation has been going on since man decided on a sedentary life, and around the world the major riverine civilizations have been big producers of cotton. India, China and Egypt established expertise in cotton cultivation, while the former two were also famous for their silk which were traded through the Silk Route. Various types of yarns and weaving techniques, coloring dyes, designs and clothing were designed around the world on natural fibers.
The arrival of synthetic fiber ended the monopoly of natural fiber, especially with their durability and availability; however, natural fiber in the form of cotton, silk, wool, flax, rayon and jute stayed on. Natural fibers are more hygienic, conducive to better design, feels good on the skin and do not have physiological side effects. Besides they have a glorious heritage and tradition. This section of the website is a pointer to various resources related to natural fiber.