Fibre crops as sustainable source of biobased material for industrial products in Europe and China

J.E.G. van Dam

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Bast fibre industries have a long standing tradition, both in China and Europe. In the past decades significant changes have taken place in the sector and strong competition is faced on the market with manmade fibres on the one hand, and on the other hand at the farm level with other crops that offer more secure income. Both in China and Europe a decline in productivity can be observed, despite the growing environmental awareness of consumers and despite increased demand for ecological benign products.
In this report, the trends in the traditional markets (textiles, ropes, etc.) and changing demands for fibre crop products were reviewed and the prospects for expanding new markets explored. Several new applications for bast fibre crops have been developed in the past decades in automotive industries and building materials.
In recent years a remarkable shift has taken place in the industrial yarn and fabric manufacturing from EU towards China. High quality European fibres are being spun and woven in Chinese factories, while the finished consumer products are exported back to Europe.
It can be concluded from the market trend analysis that a need exists both in Europe and China for innovation at different levels of the fibre crop production and supply chain and without closer cooperation between all players, the risk is great that further deterioration will occur of this ancient craft and expertise.
Original languageDutch
PublisherWageningen UR Food & Biobased Research
Number of pages53
ISBN (Print)9789462570610
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this