Welcome to the world of natural
fibers research


WANFR aims to contribute for the scientific and technical knowledge advance on natural fibers.

World Association of Natural Fibers Research is an association of researchers, technicians, entrepreneurs, institutes (research centers, universities, technological centers), companies and other associations aiming to contribute for the scientific and technical knowledge advance on natural fibers and related areas.


WANFR seeks to advance natural fiber research through science, engineering and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.

To fulfill this mission WANFR has set the following goals:

  • Enhance communication among researchers, institutes and companies
  • Strengthen support for research activities on natural fibers
  • Provide an international voice for scientific and technical progress on natural fibers and related areas
  • Promote the use of natural fibers among entrepreneurs
  • Foster education and disseminate knowledge to students, technicians, researchers and entrepreneurs
  • Increase public engagement with science and technology.
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Opportunities and Trends for Research

New processes for natural fiber agriculture extraction and processing
Natural fiber reinforced biopolymers
Innovative natural fibers & structures
Functionalization of natural fibers
Natural fiber modification techniques
Advanced fibrous structures based on natural fibers and componentes
Nanodimensional natural fibers
Natural fiber based polymeric composites
Natural fiber based cementitious composites
Applications of natural fibers in high end sectors
Analytics, modeling and prediction of properties and behavior
Biomimetics and bioinspired materials and fabrication
Product development based on natural fibers
New markets for natural fibers
Sustainability of natural fibers: life cycle assessment studies
Textile processing of natural fibers

The world of
Natural Fibers

Natural fibers are a renewable resource, par excellence, having been renewed by nature and by humans for millennia. Recently, they have drawn tremendous attention of both scientific community and industrial sectors due to their abundance and low cost, good specific mechanical properties and environmental benefits. Tremendous growth in the use of non-renewable and non-biodegradable synthetic materials and associated emission of green-house gases is presently a big concern for the environment and future generations. In this context, the use of natural fibers, extracted from plants which absorb carbon dioxide and benefit the environment, seem to be highly attractive. In addition, processing of natural fibers generates wastes, which are mostly organic and can be used to generate electricity or green building, and at the end of its life cycle, they are 100% biodegradable.
Due to the increasing environmental concern and depletion of non-renewable resources, natural fibers are greatly enlarging its range of applications in different industrial sectors including automobiles, sports, architecture, design and many others. Consequently, extensive technological and scientific research and developments are being undertaken by various institutes around the world, turning these amazing materials into eco-friendly value-added products and stepping towards a greener world.
Examples of natural fibers: ramie, flax, hemp, jute, sisal, cotton, coir, silk, wool…

Application Areas!


Fibrous materials are used in almost all kinds of sports, both in equipment and clothing for sports. These materials offer several advantageous properties such as reduced weight, better mechanical performance, durability, elasticity and others, tending to increase athlete’s performance.


In architecture, fibrous materials offer very interesting degrees of freedom with respect to their properties such as ease of handling, lightness and flexibility, giving the opportunity to an architect for taking an innovative approach.


Fibrous materials offer very interesting solutions for the construction industry in applications such as concrete reinforcement, soil stabilization, and thermal and acoustic insulation.


Fibrous materials for medical applications are used in products specially designed to meet specific needs in health-care and well-being areas, being suitable for medical, surgical and post-surgical treatments. The materials applied in this area possess properties such as: flexibility, strength, biocompatibility, and porosity, among other characteristics.


Fibrous materials are used in personal protection to protect the user from dangerous environmental effects that may result in damage or even lead to death. These materials have applications in many other professional activities such as military, police, firefighters, welders, biologists, gardeners, electricians and workers from oil platforms, representing real benefits such as greater comfort, wellbeing and safety.


Fibrous materials are used in various transport systems to promote comfort, improve safety, weight reduction and, consequently, reduction of CO2 emissions. These materials are used in air transportation systems, ground systems as well as marine systems.

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