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Bast (or phloem) fibres are largely cellulose and are derived from dicotyledonous plants (plants with net veined leaves that produce flowers). The most commonly known bast fibres are flax (linen), hemp, sisal, jute, and ramie. Less common are palm, nettle, banana, and pineapple.

Bast fibres are categorised as hard or soft:

Soft bast fibres come from the outside of the stems of plants. Linen, hemp, jute and ramie are examples of soft bast fibres.

Hard bast fibres are made from the leaves of plants. Raffia and sisel come from leaves. 

Note that cotton and kapok are not bast fibres; they come from seed hairs. Bamboo is sometimes mistaken for a bast fibre but since bamboo is a monocotyledonous plant and doesn’t have a bark structure, it isn’t.

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