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The development of a number of natural fibre products for textiles was attempted during the period of Italian autarchy (1935–1943) under the direct support of the Fascist regime. Among these fibre products, Spanish broom fibre is derived from the stem of Spartium junceum, a spontaneous plant in large parts of Italy, especially in the Southern region of Calabria. The extraction of the fibre proved cumbersome though, especially for the hardness of the stem. Therefore, different retting processes were developed, mechanical, chemical and also bacterial and, in the latter case through the use of Clostridium felsineum, it was proved to be effective to a point allowing the production of textiles. The historical events linked to the fall of the dictatorship led to some oblivion and also to the possible loss of archive materials. The objective of this review is to elicit ideas and developments concerning an effective extraction and degumming of Spanish broom fibres and evaluate the more recent applications to the field of biocomposites.
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