Bast fibers, such as ramie, hemp, flax and kenaf, are natural fibers with high specific stiffness and strength that have gained increasing attention in recent years. Bast fibers are advantageous in terms of their biodegradability and abundance in nature, making them promising candidates for automotive industry, structural composites, pulping and textile applications etc. There is a strong desire from industry for a high yielding natural cellulose fiber alternative to cotton due to the high volume of irrigation water, intensive use of pesticides, high cost and climatic conditions required to grow cotton. Before converting bast fibers into value-added products, degumming is a necessary step to separate cellulose and non-cellulose parts. Due to environmental consideration, degumming methods are developing to biodegradable green processes with high degumming efficiency. All works discussed in this review aim at revealing degumming methods for bast fibers and the potential for the design of eco-efficient processes. Objective appraisals toward the methods are discussed here, opening straight-forward access to the new chemicals and materials in the degumming industry.