The foregoing processes are all peculiar to the silk waste trade, no other fibre having to go through such processes, nor needing such machinery.
The fibre known as China jute or Tien-tsin jute is the product of another plant, Abutilon Avicennae, a member of the Mallow family.
Phormium is a cream-coloured fibre with a fine silky gloss, capable of being spun and woven into many of the heavier textures for which flax is used, either alone or in combination with flax.
The bast fibres of Cannabis are the hemp of commerce, but, unfortunately, the products from many totally different plants are often included under the general name of hemp. In some cases the fibre is obtained from the stem, while in others it comes from the leaf.
Especially in ancient Egypt the fibre occupied a most important place, linen having been there not only generally worn by all classes, but it was the only material the priestly order was permitted to wear, while it was most extensively used as wrappings for embalmed bodies and for general purposes.
The fibre and nibs have to be cleaned off by means of a gassing machine so constructed that the end of silk (silk yarn) is frictioned to throw off the nibs, and at the same time is run very rapidly through a gas flame a sufficient number of times to burn off the hairy and fibrous matter without injuring the main thread.
These bobbins are then in general taken to the first spinning frame, and there the single strands receive their first twist, which rounds them, and prevents the compound fibre from splitting up and separating when, by the subsequent scouring operations, the gum is removed which presently binds them into one.
The native manufactures include tanned leather, saddles, shoes, ponchos, woollen and cotton cloth, fibre sandals and sacking, blankets, coarse matting and coarse woollen carpets.
Nipa, made from the fibre of the agave or maguey plant and worn by women, is less common.
The fibre has come into use as a suitable material for binder-twine as used in self-binding reaping machines.