The International Year of Natural Fibers (IYNF) was a relevant occasion for Italian geographers, who did not miss this opportunity, as the relevant number of papers collected in this double issue of the journal Geotema demonstrates. This collection of essays also includes articles written by scholars of other disciplines – history, economy, linguistics – and by experts of natural fibers working outside academia. Some papers are related to the wool district of Biella and Borgosesia, which hosted a large part of the conference dedicated to the International Year of Natural Fibers and organized by the Università del Piemonte Orientale. The eastern part of the region Piemonte is in fact the natural “basin” of this academic institution, not only for the territorial provenance of its students, but also for research and didactic activities. Other papers deal with several aspects of the textile industrial sector in Italy, both in the past and in the present. A significant number of papers also talks about the important and delicate problems that are now affecting the natural fibers sector at the global scale, and especially those related to the environmental protection and the current economic crisis.
Keywords: Natural Textile Fibers, Development, Economic Crisis, Environmental ProblemsGEOTEMA_35-36_00_Brusa_premessa