Growing awareness of environmental issues has led to increasing demand for goods produced from natural products, including natural fibres. The two-volume Handbook of natural fibres is an indispensable tool in understanding the diverse properties and applications of these important materials. Volume 2: Processing and applications focuses on key processing techniques for the improvement and broader application of natural fibres.

Part one reviews processing techniques for natural fibres. Silk production and the future of natural silk manufacture are discussed, as well as techniques to improve the flame retardancy of natural fibres and chemical treatments to improve natural fibre properties. Ultraviolet-blocking properties, enzymatic treatment, and electrokinetic properties are also discussed. Part two goes on to investigate applications of natural fibres, including automotive applications, geotextiles, paper and packaging, and natural fibre composites (NFCs) for the construction and automotive industries. The use of flax and hemp, textiles made from jute and coir, antimicrobial natural fibres, and biomimetic textile materials are also considered, before a final discussion of enhancing consumer demand for natural textile fibres.

With its distinguished editor and international team of expert contributors, the two volumes of the Handbook of natural fibres are essential texts for professionals and academics in textile science and technology.

Key Features

  • Focuses on key processing techniques for the improvement and broader application of natural fibres
  • Reviews processing techniques for natural fibres, including silk production and the future of natural silk manufacture
  • Discusses ultraviolet-blocking properties, enzymatic treatment, and alectrokinetic properties, among other topics


Professionals and academics within the textile industry as well as those involved in the cultivation and farming of natural fibers.

Table of Contents


Contributor contact details

Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles

Part I: Processing techniques for natural fibres

Chapter 1: Silk production and the future of natural silk manufacture


1.1 Introduction to silk and the silk industry

1.2 Types of silk and their importance

1.3 The silk industry

1.4 Post-cocoon technology

1.5 Silk reeling technology

1.6 Silk fabric manufacture

1.7 Spun silk production and manufacture

1.8 Future trends in natural silk production

1.9 Sources of further information and advice

1.10 Acknowledgements

Chapter 2: Improving the flame retardancy of natural fibres


2.1 Introduction

2.2 Key issues in flame retardancy of natural fibres and lignocellulosic textiles

2.3 Flammability and flame retardancy of some natural fibres and textiles

2.4 Methods of improving flame retardancy in natural fibres

2.5 Future trends

2.6 Sources of further information and advice

2.7 Conclusions

Chapter 3: Improving the properties of natural fibres by chemical treatments


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Wool

3.3 Silk

3.4 Other protein fibres

3.5 Cotton

3.6 Other vegetable fibres

3.7 Future trends

3.8 Acknowledgements

3.10 Appendix: abbreviations

Chapter 4: Ultraviolet-blocking properties of natural fibres


4.1 Introduction

4.2 UV protection by textiles

4.3 Properties of natural fibres

4.4 Methods of improving the ultraviolet properties of natural fibres

4.5 Future trends

4.6 Conclusion

Chapter 5: Enzymatic treatment of natural fibres


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Key principles of enzyme treatment of natural fibres

5.3 Main types of enzyme treatments


No. of pages:
© 2012
Woodhead Publishing
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the editor

Ryszard Kozłowski

Professor Ryszard M. Kozlowski is the award-winning former Director of the Polish Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Textile Institute, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Natural Fibres, Scientific Advisor to the Institute for Engineering of Polymer Materials and Dyes, and Doctor Honoris Causa of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ibarra, Ecuador. Professor Koz?owski is also Coordinator of both ESCORENA (the European System of Cooperative Research Networks in Agriculture and the FAO/ESCORENA European Cooperative Research Network on Flax and other Bast Plants. He is the author/co-author of over 300 publications, including 26 books and 25 patents.

Affiliations and Expertise

Institute of Natural Fibres (INF), Poland