The Global Market for Next-Gen Natural Fibers 2023-2033

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Published August 2022 | 325 pages, 114 figures, 58 tables | Download Table of contents

Synthetic fibers are relatively expensive and require many harmful chemicals during production, which impact humans and the environment. Conversely, bio-based materials such as natural fibers have lower production costs and offer similar or better mechanical properties compared to traditional materials.

Next-gen natural fibers offer an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil based plastic, as they originate from renewable sources, and support industrial composting at the end of life. Demand for sustainability in, for example, the fashion industry is at an all-time high, and many brands are seeking to deliver more environmentally-friendly fibers and fabrics. Fibers derived from bio-based sources such as plant-based (ligno) cellulosics and animal-based protein are termed natural fibers (NF). This includes natural cellulosic fibers such as cotton, jute, sisal, coir, flax, hemp, abaca, ramie, etc.) and protein-based fibers such as wool and silk. Man-made cellulose fibers (e.g., viscose rayon, cellulose acetate and nanocellulose) that are produced with chemical procedures from pulped wood or other sources (cotton, bamboo, biomass) are also covered in this report under the natural fibers definition.

The market for next-gen natural fibers has grown significantly over the last two years, with investments of nearly $1 billion in 2021. Bolt Threads raised a $253 million USD Series E at a $1.15 billion USD valuation, Ecovative raised a $60 million USD Series D, and Natural Fiber Welding received backing from BMWi Ventures and Allbirds, raising $15 million USD. Japan-based Spiber raised $313 million USD in funding.

Report contents include: 

  • Market drivers for next-gen natural fibers.
  • Market trends in next-gen natural fibers.
  • Global revenues for next-gen natural fibers 2023-2033, by fiber types, market and region.
  • Technology challenges.
  • Analysis of types of next-gen natural fibers including plant-derived fibers, cultivated animal fibers cell fibers, microbe-derived fibers etc.
  • Markets for next-gen natural fibers, including composites, aerospace, automotive, construction & building, sports & leisure, textiles, consumer products and packaging.
  • Profiles of 185 next-gen natural fiber companies. Companies profiled include Algaeing, Ananas Anam, BASF, Bast Fiber Technologies Inc., Blue Ocean Closures, Coastgrass ApS, Kelheim Fibres GmbH, BComp, Circular Systems, Evrnu, Natural Fiber Welding, Icytos and many more.

1              EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   20

  • 1.1          What are next-gen natural fibers?            20
  • 1.2          Benefits of natural fibers over synthetic 23
  • 1.3          Markets and applications for next-gen natural fibers        24
  • 1.4          Recent commercial activity in next-gen natural fibers      26
  • 1.5          Commercially available next-gen natural fiber  products 28
  • 1.6          Market drivers for next-gen natural fibers             31
  • 1.7          Challenges          32

 

2              NATURAL FIBER TYPES    33

  • 2.1          Manufacturing method, matrix materials and applications of natural fibers            34
  • 2.2          Advantages of natural fibers       36
  • 2.3          Plants (cellulose, lignocellulose) 37
    • 2.3.1      Seed fibers         37
      • 2.3.1.1   Cotton  37
      • 2.3.1.2   Kapok   38
      • 2.3.1.3   Luffa      39
    • 2.3.2      Bast fibers           41
      • 2.3.2.1   Jute       41
      • 2.3.2.2   Hemp    43
      • 2.3.2.3   Flax        45
      • 2.3.2.4   Ramie   47
      • 2.3.2.5   Kenaf    49
    • 2.3.3      Leaf fibers           50
      • 2.3.3.1   Sisal       51
      • 2.3.3.2   Abaca    52
    • 2.3.4      Fruit fibers          53
      • 2.3.4.1   Coir        54
      • 2.3.4.2   Banana 55
      • 2.3.4.3   Pineapple            57
    • 2.3.5      Stalk fibers from agricultural residues     59
      • 2.3.5.1   Rice fiber             59
      • 2.3.5.2   Corn      59
    • 2.3.6      Cane, grasses and reed  60
      • 2.3.6.1   Switch grass       60
      • 2.3.6.2   Sugarcane (agricultural residues)              61
      • 2.3.6.3   Bamboo               62
      • 2.3.6.4   Fresh grass (green biorefinery)  63
    • 2.3.7      Modified natural polymers          63
      • 2.3.7.1   Mycelium            64
      • 2.3.7.2   Chitosan              67
      • 2.3.7.3   Alginate               67
  • 2.4          Animal (fibrous protein) 69
    • 2.4.1      Wool     69
      • 2.4.1.1   Plant-derived wool          70
      • 2.4.1.2   Microbe-derived wool   71
      • 2.4.1.3   Cultivated animal cell wool          72
      • 2.4.1.4   Producers           72
    • 2.4.2      Silk fiber              72
      • 2.4.2.1   Plant-derived silk             73
      • 2.4.2.2   Microbe-derived silk       74
      • 2.4.2.3   Producers           74
    • 2.4.3      Leather 76
      • 2.4.3.1   Plant-derived leather     77
      • 2.4.3.2   Mycelium leather             78
      • 2.4.3.3   Microbe-derived leather              79
      • 2.4.3.4   Cultivated animal cell leather      79
      • 2.4.3.5   Producers           80
    • 2.4.4      Fur         82
      • 2.4.4.1   Plant-derived fur              82
      • 2.4.4.2   Cultivated animal cell fur              83
      • 2.4.4.3   Producers           83
  • 2.4.5      Down    84
    • 2.4.5.1   Plant-derived down        85
    • 2.4.5.2   Microbe-derived down 86
    • 2.4.5.3   Producers           87
  • 2.5          Polysaccharides 88
    • 2.5.1      Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) 88
      • 2.5.1.1   Market analysis 88
      • 2.5.1.2   Producers           89
    • 2.5.2      Cellulose nanocrystals    90
      • 2.5.2.1   Market analysis 90
      • 2.5.2.2   Producers           91
    • 2.5.3      Cellulose nanofibers       92
      • 2.5.3.1   Market analysis 92
      • 2.5.3.2   Producers           93

 

3              MARKETS FOR NEXT-GEN NATURAL FIBERS           95

  • 3.1          Composites        95
    • 3.1.1      Applications       96
    • 3.1.2      Natural fiber injection moulding compounds       97
      • 3.1.2.1   Properties           97
      • 3.1.2.2   Applications       98
    • 3.1.3      Non-woven natural fiber mat composites              98
      • 3.1.3.1   Automotive        98
      • 3.1.3.2   Applications       99
    • 3.1.4      Aligned natural fiber-reinforced composites        99
    • 3.1.5      Natural fiber biobased polymer compounds         100
    • 3.1.6      Natural fiber biobased polymer non-woven mats              101
      • 3.1.6.1   Flax        101
      • 3.1.6.2   Kenaf    101
    • 3.1.7      Natural fiber thermoset bioresin composites       101
  • 3.2          Aerospace          102
    • 3.2.1      Market overview             102
  • 3.3          Automotive        103
    • 3.3.1      Market overview             103
    • 3.3.2      Applications of natural fibers      107
  • 3.4          Building/construction     108
    • 3.4.1      Market overview             108
    • 3.4.2      Applications of natural fibers      109
  • 3.5          Sports and leisure            110
    • 3.5.1      Market overview             110
  • 3.6          Textiles 111
    • 3.6.1      Market overview             111
    • 3.6.2      Consumer apparel           113
    • 3.6.3      Geotextiles        114
  • 3.7          Packaging            115
    • 3.7.1      Market overview             116
  •  

4              GLOBAL NATURAL FIBERS MARKET           117

  • 4.1          Overall global fibers market        117
  • 4.2          Plant-based fiber production      120
  • 4.3          Animal-based natural fiber production   121

 

5              NATURAL FIBER PRODUCERS AND PRODUCT DEVELOPER PROFILES            122 (185 company profiles)

 

6              AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY     319

 

7              RESEARCH METHODOLOGY         320

 

8              REFERENCES       321

 

TABLES

  • Table 1. Types of next-gen natural fibers.              20
  • Table 2. Markets and applications for natural fibers.         24
  • Table 3. Recent commercial activity in natural fibers.       26
  • Table 4. Commercially available next-gen natural fiber products. 28
  • Table 5. Market drivers for natural fibers.             31
  • Table 6. Application, manufacturing method, and matrix materials of natural fibers.          34
  • Table 7. Typical properties of natural fibers.         36
  • Table 8. Overview of cotton fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.   37
  • Table 9. Overview of kapok fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.    38
  • Table 10. Overview of luffa fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.    40
  • Table 11. Overview of jute fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.     41
  • Table 12. Overview of hemp fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.  43
  • Table 13. Overview of flax fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.      45
  • Table 14. Overview of ramie fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.  47
  • Table 15. Overview of kenaf fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.  49
  • Table 16. Overview of sisal fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.     51
  • Table 17. Overview of abaca fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.  52
  • Table 18. Overview of coir fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.      54
  • Table 19. Overview of banana fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.               55
  • Table 20. Overview of pineapple fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.         57
  • Table 21. Overview of rice fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.      59
  • Table 22. Overview of corn fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.    59
  • Table 23. Overview of switch grass fibers-description, properties and applications.             60
  • Table 24. Overview of sugarcane fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and application and market size.           61
  • Table 25. Overview of bamboo fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.             62
  • Table 26. Overview of mycelium fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.          66
  • Table 27. Overview of chitosan fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.            67
  • Table 28. Overview of alginate-description, properties, application and market size.          67
  • Table 29. Overview of wool fibers-description, properties, drawbacks and applications.   69
  • Table 30. Alternative wool materials producers. 72
  • Table 31. Overview of silk fibers-description, properties, application and market size.       72
  • Table 32. Alternative silk materials producers.    74
  • Table 33. Alternative leather materials producers.            80
  • Table 34. Alternative fur materials producers.     83
  • Table 35. Alternative down materials producers. 87
  • Table 36. Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) market analysis.            88
  • Table 37. Leading MFC producers and capacities.               89
  • Table 38. Cellulose nanocrystals analysis.               90
  • Table 39. Cellulose nanocrystal production capacities and production process, by producer.          91
  • Table 40. Cellulose nanofibers market analysis.   92
  • Table 41. CNF production capacities and production process, by producer, in metric tons.               93
  • Table 42. Applications of natural fiber composites.           96
  • Table 43. Typical properties of short natural fiber-thermoplastic composites.       98
  • Table 44. Properties of non-woven natural fiber mat composites.               99
  • Table 45. Properties of aligned natural fiber composites. 100
  • Table 46. Properties of natural fiber-bio-based polymer compounds.       100
  • Table 47. Properties of natural fiber-bio-based polymer non-woven mats.             101
  • Table 48. Natural fibers in the aerospace sector-market drivers, applications and challenges for NF use.   102
  • Table 49. Natural fiber-reinforced polymer composite in the automotive market. 105
  • Table 50. Natural fibers in the aerospace sector- market drivers, applications and challenges for NF use.  106
  • Table 51. Applications of natural fibers in the automotive industry.           107
  • Table 52. Natural fibers in the building/construction sector- market drivers, applications and challenges for NF use.                108
  • Table 53. Applications of natural fibers in the building/construction sector.           109
  • Table 54. Natural fibers in the sports and leisure sector-market drivers, applications and challenges for NF use.    110
  • Table 55. Natural fibers in the textiles sector-market drivers, applications and challenges for NF use.         111
  • Table 56. Natural fibers in the packaging sector-market drivers, applications and challenges for NF use.    116
  • Table 57. Granbio Nanocellulose Processes.         201
  • Table 58. Oji Holdings CNF products.       257

 

FIGURES

  • Figure 1. Adidas Made with Nature Ultraboost 22.             29
  • Figure 2. Absolut natural based fiber bottle cap. 28
  • Figure 3. Carlsberg natural fiber beer bottle.        29
  • Figure 4. Types of natural fibers.               34
  • Figure 5. Cotton production volume 2018-2033 (Million MT).       38
  • Figure 6. Kapok production volume 2018-2033 (MT).       39
  • Figure 7.  Luffa cylindrica fiber.  40
  • Figure 8. Jute production volume 2018-2033 (Million MT).             43
  • Figure 9. Hemp fiber production volume 2018-2033 (Million MT).              45
  • Figure 10. Flax fiber production volume 2018-2033 (MT).               46
  • Figure 11. Ramie fiber production volume 2018-2033 (MT).          49
  • Figure 12. Kenaf fiber production volume 2018-2033 (MT).           50
  • Figure 13. Sisal fiber production volume 2018-2033 (MT).              52
  • Figure 14. Abaca fiber production volume 2018-2033 (MT).          53
  • Figure 15. Coir fiber production volume 2018-2033 (MILLION MT).            55
  • Figure 16. Banana fiber production volume 2018-2033 (MT).        56
  • Figure 17. Pineapple fiber.           58
  • Figure 18. A bag made with pineapple biomaterial from the H&M Conscious Collection 2019.         58
  • Figure 19. Bamboo fiber production volume 2018-2033 (MILLION MT).    63
  • Figure 20. Typical structure of mycelium-based foam.     64
  • Figure 21. Commercial mycelium composite construction materials.          65
  • Figure 22. Frayme Mylo™️.            66
  • Figure 23. BLOOM masterbatch from Algix.           68
  • Figure 24. Conceptual landscape of next-gen leather materials.   77
  • Figure 25. Hemp fibers combined with PP in car door panel.         102
  • Figure 26. Car door produced from Hemp fiber.  103
  • Figure 27. Natural fiber composites in the BMW M4 GT4 racing car.          104
  • Figure 28. Mercedes-Benz components containing natural fibers.               104
  • Figure 29. AlgiKicks sneaker, made with the Algiknit biopolymer gel.         114
  • Figure 30. Coir mats for erosion control. 114
  • Figure 31. Global fiber production in 2019, by fiber type, million MT and %.           118
  • Figure 32. Global fiber production (million MT) to 2020-2033.       119
  • Figure 33. Plant-based fiber production 2018-2033, by fiber type, MT.     121
  • Figure 34. Animal based fiber production 2018-2033, by fiber type, million MT.    121
  • Figure 35. Pluumo.          125
  • Figure 36. Algiknit yarn. 129
  • Figure 37. Amadou leather shoes.            130
  • Figure 38. Anpoly cellulose nanofiber hydrogel.  133
  • Figure 39. MEDICELLU™.               133
  • Figure 40. Asahi Kasei CNF fabric sheet. 135
  • Figure 41. Properties of Asahi Kasei cellulose nanofiber nonwoven fabric.              135
  • Figure 42. CNF nonwoven fabric.               136
  • Figure 43. Roof frame made of natural fiber.        139
  • Figure 44. Natural fibres racing seat.        142
  • Figure 45. Beyond Leather Materials product.     144
  • Figure 46. Fiber-based screw cap.             152
  • Figure 47. Cellugy materials.        158
  • Figure 48. nanoforest-S. 162
  • Figure 49. nanoforest-PDP.         162
  • Figure 50. nanoforest-MB.           162
  • Figure 51. CuanSave film.             166
  • Figure 52. Celish.              167
  • Figure 53. Trunk lid incorporating CNF.   168
  • Figure 54. ELLEX products.           170
  • Figure 55. CNF-reinforced PP compounds.            171
  • Figure 56. Kirekira! toilet wipes. 171
  • Figure 57. Color CNF.      172
  • Figure 58. Rheocrysta spray.       176
  • Figure 59. DKS CNF products.      176
  • Figure 60. Mushroom leather.    180
  • Figure 61. CNF based on citrus peel.        181
  • Figure 62. Citrus cellulose nanofiber.       181
  • Figure 63. Filler Bank CNC products.         185
  • Figure 64. Fibers on kapok tree and after processing.       189
  • Figure 65. Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF) composite with polyethylene (PE).  194
  • Figure 66. CNF products from Furukawa Electric. 196
  • Figure 67. Cutlery samples (spoon, knife, fork) made of nano cellulose and biodegradable plastic composite materials.                203
  • Figure 68. Non-aqueous CNF dispersion "Senaf" (Photo shows 5% of plasticizer). 204
  • Figure 69. CNF gel.           210
  • Figure 70. Block nanocellulose material. 211
  • Figure 71. CNF products developed by Hokuetsu.              211
  • Figure 72. Marine leather products.         212
  • Figure 73. Dual Graft System.     216
  • Figure 74. Engine cover utilizing Kao CNF composite resins.           217
  • Figure 75. Acrylic resin blended with modified CNF (fluid) and its molded product (transparent film), and image obtained with AFM (CNF 10wt% blended).           217
  • Figure 76. Kami Shoji CNF products.         218
  • Figure 77. 0.3% aqueous dispersion of sulfated esterified CNF and dried transparent film (front side).       220
  • Figure 78. Nike Algae Ink graphic tee.      225
  • Figure 79. BioFlex process.           226
  • Figure 80. Chitin nanofiber product.        231
  • Figure 81. Marusumi Paper cellulose nanofiber products.              232
  • Figure 82. FibriMa cellulose nanofiber powder.  233
  • Figure 83. Cellulomix production process.             235
  • Figure 84. Nanobase versus conventional products.          235
  • Figure 85. MOGU-Wave panels. 239
  • Figure 86. CNF slurries.  240
  • Figure 87. Range of CNF products.            240
  • Figure 88. Reishi.              243
  • Figure 89. Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. materials. 246
  • Figure 90. Nippon Paper Industries’ adult diapers.             251
  • Figure 91. Leather made from leaves.     252
  • Figure 92. Nike shoe with beLEAF™.        252
  • Figure 93. CNF clear sheets.        257
  • Figure 94. Oji Holdings CNF polycarbonate product.          258
  • Figure 95. XCNF.               271
  • Figure 96. CNF insulation flat plates.        275
  • Figure 97. Manufacturing process for STARCEL.   280
  • Figure 98. 3D printed cellulose shoe.       282
  • Figure 99. Lyocell process.           285
  • Figure 100. North Face Spiber Moon Parka.          287
  • Figure 101. PANGAIA LAB NXT GEN Hoodie.         288
  • Figure 102. Spider silk production.            289
  • Figure 103. 2 wt.% CNF suspension.       294
  • Figure 104. BiNFi-s Dry Powder. 295
  • Figure 105. BiNFi-s Dry Powder and Propylene (PP) Complex Pellet.          295
  • Figure 106. Silk nanofiber (right) and cocoon of raw material.       296
  • Figure 107. Sulapac cosmetics containers.             298
  • Figure 108. Comparison of weight reduction effect using CNF.     303
  • Figure 109. CNF resin products. 305
  • Figure 110. Vegea production process.   308
  • Figure 111. HefCel-coated wood (left) and untreated wood (right) after 30 seconds flame test.     312
  • Figure 112. Bio-based barrier bags prepared from Tempo-CNF coated bio-HDPE film.        313
  • Figure 113. Worn Again products.             315
  • Figure 114. Zelfo Technology GmbH CNF production process.       317

 

 

 

 

The Global Market for Next-Gen Natural Fibers 2023-2033
The Global Market for Next-Gen Natural Fibers 2023-2033
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The Global Market for Next-Gen Natural Fibers 2023-2033
The Global Market for Next-Gen Natural Fibers 2023-2033
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