A relatively long *sclerenchyma
cell, often with inconspicuous simple pits, that is usually differentiated directly from meristematic cells. Fibres that occur in the xylem are called xylary fibres and include the *fibre-tracheids
. The inner layers of the secondary wall of certain xylem fibres, notably in tension wood, may be gelatinous and swell with the uptake of water. Of the extra-xylary fibres, those occurring in the phloem are often referred to as bast fibres.
Fibres are of great economic importance in the textile industry and for the making of rope and baskets. Commercially, fibres are divided into 'soft' and 'hard' categories. The 'hard' fibres come from monocotyledons; examples are those of the leaves of Musa textilis (abaca) and Agave sisalana (sisal). Examples of soft fibres are the pappus of Gossypium (cotton) and the bast fibres of Linum usitatissimum (flax), Corchorus capsularis (jute), and Cannabis sativa (hemp).