Natural fibres and their composites have significant untapped potential for product designers and are widely recognized as having good sustainability credentials. Nevertheless, applications for these materials are stifled because of low esteem and a generally low perceived quality compared with conventional materials such as plastics and metals. Current impressions of this material class are therefore not favourable, and their future acceptance in mainstream product design will depend on understanding how, particularly, the sensorial qualities of the materials may be modified to contribute positively to user experiences. This position paper outlines the motivations and methods for a planned research project into the perception and future acceptance of natural fibre materials for industrial product design. © 2011 ACM.