This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Bast. The strong inner fibrous bark of various trees, especially a species of linden, of which the Russia matting of commerce is made. Cuba bast is used for tieing up bunches of cigars, etc. [See Fiber]