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91 Examples of Natural Materials

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Natural materials are naturally occurring types of matter that are useful for producing goods such as buildings, consumer products and crafts. These include organic matter such as wood or wool that come from plants and animals. Natural materials also include inorganic materials such as stones, minerals and metals. The following are common examples of natural materials.
Abaca
Aluminium
Amber
Andesite
Aquamarine
Bamboo
Bark
Basalt
Beeswax
Beryl
Bone
Brass
Bricks
Bronze
Cashmere
Chromium
Clay
Coir
Copper
Cordwood
Cork
Cotton
Diamond
Dolomite
Emerald
Feathers / Down
Flagstone
Flax
Flint
Garnet
Gems
Glass
Gold
Goshenite
Granite
Gravel
Gypsum
Hemp
Iron
Jade
Jadeite
Jute
Lapis Lazuli
Leather
Lime Plaster
Limestone
Malachite
Marble
Meteorite
Mohair
Mother of Pearl
Nickel
Nut Shells
Obsidian
Onyx
Opal
Pearls
Petrified Wood
Pine Cones
Platinum
Pumice
Quartz
Quartzite
Rattan
Rhodonite
Ruby
Sand
Sandstone
Sapphire
Sawdust
Shells
Silk
Silver
Slate
Soapstone
Sodalite
Soft Rush
Soil
Stainless Steel
Steel
Stone
Straw
Tin
Titanium
Topaz
Tourmaline
Tuff Rock
Tungsten
Turquoise
Wood
Wool

Wood

Wood is a plentiful natural material that is strong and workable. It has much tradition of use in construction, furniture making and crafts. There are an estimated 3.04 trillion trees on Earth that could be sustained indefinitely if harvested and managed in a sustainable way.

Natural Fibers

Plant and animal materials that can be used to create textiles and other products such as rope.

Stones

Stones are solid mineral objects of natural origin. These are commonly used in construction, landscaping, crafts and other goods.

Clays, Bricks & Ceramics

Bricks and ceramics are commonly made from natural materials such as clay, sand and shale.

Plant Materials

Plant-based materials beyond wood such as shells, pits and leaves.

Insect Materials

Materials such as dyes, waxes, coatings and fibers produced by insects.

Animal Materials

Animal based materials used for things like clothing, jewelry and crafts.

Discussion

Many natural materials are processed in a way that makes them artificial. For example, engineered wood products that are formed with chemicals such as glue.
Just because a material is natural doesn't mean that it isn't hazardous. For example, asbestos is a natural material that has known hazards.
Natural isn't synonymous with sustainable. For example, the mining process for a natural material can damage the environment. The sustainability of a material requires a look at the details of its entire lifestyle. In some cases, synthetic materials are arguably more sustainable than natural equivalents whereby they could potentially produce less harm over their lifecycle.
Glass naturally occurs as volcanic glass. Manufactured glass products may resemble a natural material in their composition.
Metal alloys such as steel contain multiple metals but are potentially free of chemical additives.
Bricks are manufactured materials that can be composed of natural materials such as sand, clay, lime, iron oxide and magnesia.
Most natural materials undergo heavy processing that resembles manufacturing.
The term natural material is often used to distinguish between products with relatively unprocessed ingredients in contrast to chemicals such as plastic that are pervasive in products and building materials.
The line between natural materials and synthetics isn't always clear. For example, a synthetic fiber that resembles a chemical product that uses mostly natural materials in its formulation.
It is very common for products that aren't at all natural to be marketed as such.
Wood is a primary type of natural material that is abundant and workable with desirable material properties such as strength in tension and compression.
Next: Raw Materials
More about natural materials:
Bamboo Wood
Building Stones
Glass
Materials
Mineral Products
Natural Fibers
Natural Materials
Organic Materials
Raw Materials
Wood
Wood Products
Wood Things
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References

Crowther, Thomas W., et al. "Mapping tree density at a global scale." Nature 525.7568 (2015): 201-205.

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