All You Ever Wanted to Know About Jute

Jute is a shiny, soft, long vegetable fiber that can be spun into strong, coarse tread. Primarily, it is produced from the genus Corchorus plants. At one point in time, this was classified in the Tillaceae family. In the last few years it was re-classified into the Malvaceae recently. The name of the fiber or plant used for making gunny cloth, hessian or burlap is called Jute.

Most Affordable Fabric Next to Cotton

Second only to cotton in the produced amount, Jute is one of the natural fibers that are most affordable. In addition, it is also second to cotton in variety of uses. Most likely, the term ‘jute’ is coned from the word ‘jota’ or ‘jhuta’ which is a word from the Oriya. The fibers of jute are primarily composed of lignin or cellulose plant materials. It falls into the category of bast fiber, which is the collected fiber from the plant phloem or bast, also called the ‘skin’. The bast fiber category also includes ramie, linen or flax, industrial hemp and kenaf. Raw jute is the industrial term for jute. Its fibers range from the color brown to off-white and are one to four meters long, or three to thirteen feet. In addition, Jute is also referred to as the golden fiber for its high cash value and color.

Rope-Making

Making matting, rope and twine are among the uses of jute. Combined with sugars, the possibilities of airplane building has been explored. Since it has fiber uniformity, lustre, length, softness and cheapness, jute is in great demand. Similarly, it can be utilized for storing grains, wheat and rice. It is also known as the ‘brown paper bag.’ Since its nature involves being such a versatile fabric, it is called the ‘golden fiber.’

Agricultural and Commercial Uses

Also, matting made of jute is used for flood erosion prevention while farmers establish natural vegetation. Because of this, it is essential to have a biodegradable and natural fiber. Due to its being so versatile, jute is considered to be the second vegetable fiber that is most important. Chiefly, it is used to wrap large cotton bales and for making cloth. Uses of jute also range from making coarse cloth and sacks. Each jute fiber goes through weaving and is used as linoleum backing, hessian cloth, area rugs, carpets, chair coverings and curtains.
Many times, jute is replaced by synthetics and some take advantages of the biodegradable nature of jute. This is especially true when it is unsuitable to use synthetics. For example, jute is used as containers for young tree planting. This can also be directly planted with the jute container straight into the soil with no disruption to the roots. Jute cloth in land restoration prevents erosions from happening while vegetation is re-established.

Twine and Rope Production

Twine and rope are made or combined with other types of fibers along with jute in the manufacturing process. The coarse end of the jute plant is called the jute butt and this is used for making affordable fabric. On the flip side of the coin, finer jute threads can be made into imitation silk and separated out. As the fibers of jute are used for creating paper and pulp there is an increase in concern over wood pulp being bad for the forests when used for making paper. The result of this may be an increase in jute’s importance.

Jute Fiber

Jute Fiber comes from the outer skin of the jute plant called the ribbon. It also comes from the stem. The fibers are extracted first by retting. The process of retting consists of bundling stems of the jute and immersing these in water that is slowly running. The two retting types are ribbon retting and stem retting. After this process, it is time to start the strip process. This job is usually done by children and women. This process involves the scraping off of non-fiber matter before workers come in and grab each fiber from within the stem of the jute.

Production

The crop of jute is rain-fed and does not really need pesticides or fertilizer. This is the opposite of the heavy requirements of cotton. Mostly, jute production is concentrated in Bangladesh and the states of India including Bengal, Bihar and Assam. As a matter of fact, the world’s biggest production of jute is India. China, Pakistan and India import large jute products and jute fiber quantities. Other countries such as Brazil, Germany, the Ivory Coast, Spain, France, the USA, Japan and the United Kingdom also import jute in significant quantities.

Eco-Friendly

Jute is also used for manufacturing fabrics such as canvas, carpet backing cloth, scrim, sacking and Hessian Cloth. Lighter than sack-material, Hessian cloth is used for home furnishing, upholstery, wall coverings, wrappers and bags. One type of fabric made of heavy jute fibers is called sacking. Jute carpet backing cloth comes in two types. The first type provides a surface for tufting while the second type is bonded with the first kind for overlays. Jute is also used as an eco-friendly substitute for packaging.

Dyeing Jute

These days, you will notice that jute has become more and more valuable. It is used in making home textiles, floor coverings, cardigans, soft sweaters and espadrilles. Plus, uses also include for creating composites, geotextiles, high-performing technical textiles and home textiles. These products are all in different colors. If you are thinking of getting jute dyed, it is as easy as dyeing cotton as it is a natural fiber. For best results, contact a professional fabric dye company or use great products if you plan on doing this yourself.

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