Jute and Cotton: Why One Is Better Than the Other

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Jute and cotton are two important fibers that have a variety of uses. Before we can understand which provides a better alternative we have to first look at what they are, their origins, how they are produced, and some of their most important uses in the modern-day. So let’s get started.

What Is Cotton?

Cotton is one of the most widely used textiles on the planet. Cotton products, whether plain cotton, coloured cotton, or a cotton blend, are likely to be found in almost any wardrobe. Cotton is a natural fabric that has been used since the fifth millennium B.C and is generated from cotton plants.

This fabric is chemically organic, meaning it contains no synthetic ingredients and is made from the fibers that surround the seeds of cotton plants, which develop into a spherical, fluffy shape.

What Is the History of Cotton?

Cotton is derived from the Arabic word “quton.” Cotton was first produced in India, where it goes back to the fifth millennium B.C.

In the thirteenth century, India produced the first cotton gin, which is an instrument for separating cotton fluff from plant seeds. Cotton manufacturing became considerably easier and faster thanks to the cotton gin, which aided the fiber’s growth as a widely used textile.

With the advent of new technologies such as the spinning jenny, spinning frame, and spinning mule during the Industrial Revolution, Britain became one of the top cotton producers. Manufacturers were able to spin cotton at higher rates because to all of these spinning equipment.

However, it was the invention of the mechanical cotton gin by American Eli Whitney that resulted in greater production of the material in the United States and Europe. This innovative instrument, which used machine power to rapidly and efficiently remove the seeds from the cotton, reduced the number of hours of manual effort required to create a bale of cotton from 600 to only 12.

How Is Cotton Produced?

Cotton gins are now available in automated versions that make the procedure even simpler for human employees. Machines can harvest cotton bolls from agricultural areas and then isolate the seeds from bolls.

Cotton production starts with the planting of cotton seeds in the spring. In most situations, cotton seeds are planted in ten or more rows at the same time by automated equipment. Seedlings sprout in seven days, while full cotton bolls emerge around 55 to 80 days.

Defoliation, or the act of stripping the leaves from cotton plants before machine harvesting, frequently necessitates the use of human labor. Following that, a single machine picks the same quantity of cotton as 50 humans could pick, and the same equipment eliminates big impurities from the cotton strands before baling it.

High-efficiency automated cotton gins could handle up to sixty cotton fiber bales averaging 500 pounds each in less than an hour. These gins are used to extract the seeds from cotton bolls as well as any dirt or debris.

The cotton is delivered to a textile manufacturing facility once it has been cleaned to the point where it only contains pure cotton fibers with no seeds or dirt. At this facility, raw cotton is carded, a technique that separates cotton fibers to long strands. After then, the strands are spun into yarn.

The fundamental material for cotton textiles is finished at this point. This cotton yarn may then be colored and treated to a variety of chemical treatments. The material is then woven into a specific form of textile, such as a T-shirt, bedsheet, or jeans.

Uses of Cotton

Cotton has a wide range of applications in a variety of sectors. Cotton is found in about 75% of the world’s apparel goods. Cotton is the most frequently used textile fiber in the world, and it may be spun into a variety of various goods.

Most T-shirts, for example, include at least some cotton, while genuine blue jeans are made entirely of cotton. Bathrobes, bathmats, and towels are all made from this fabric, as well as bed sheets, blankets, and duvets. Cotton might even be used to manufacture curtains, wall hangings, and other sorts of home décor.

Cotton is widely used to manufacture warm-weather clothes because it is very breathable and absorbent. Its softness makes it a terrific choice for formal and professional attire, and its draping properties make it an excellent fabric for dresses.

Cotton is utilized in the production of medical supplies, as well as industrial thread and tarps. To summarize, cotton may be used to manufacture almost every form of consumer or industrial textile.

What Is Jute?

Corchorus olitorius and Corchorus capsularis are two plants that produce jute. These plants are produced all year and are endemic to the Indian subcontinent. Jute fibers are mostly concentrated around the stalk’s woody, core portions. It’s made up of cellulose and lignin. Today there are primarily 2 types of jute: white jute and brown jute.

What Is the History Behind Jute?

Villagers wore jute clothing, according to historical texts from the Mughal era in India. Jute ropes and twines were also employed by the Indians for domestic and other functions. Jute, among other natural resources, was utilized by the Chinese to make paper. In the Dunhuang, Gansu Province, northwest China, a small piece of paper made from jute with Chinese characters was uncovered. It was most likely created during the Western Han Dynasty.

Learn more about jute history and the origin of jute in this post.

How Is Jute Produced?

Jute fabric manufacture has remained essentially unchanged for generations. Jute stalks are gathered by hand and defoliated in the majority of situations. Both the inner stem and the outer skin of the stalk may be used to make jute fibers.

Retting is a technique that removes non-fibrous jute materials from the stems and epidermis of the jute stalk. Retting softens the stalks, allowing the fibrous material to be separated from the useless material by hand.

After the jute stalk has been retted, the long, silky fibers may be separated and combed into long threads. After that, the combed fibers may be spun into yarn. While automated machinery are theoretically capable of creating jute yarn, most jute-producing villages still use analog spinning wheels.

When the jute fiber is spun into yarn, it may be dyed, treated for water resistance, or treated for fire resistance using a number of chemical methods. The completed jute fiber reels are then delivered to textile manufacturing plants where they are woven into garments or industrial fabrics.

A range of softening processes are employed in the case of jute garments to make the end apparel goods more comfortable. To minimize the roughness of the jute yarn, some producers would agitate it, while others may utilize chemical treatments. In most cases, jute fiber used for industrial applications may be kept in its natural state without the use of any softening procedures.

What Are Some of the Uses of Jute?

Jute is mostly used to wrap raw cotton bales in fabric, as well as to manufacture sacks and coarse cloth. Curtains, chair covers, carpets, area rugs, hessian fabric, and linoleum backing are all made from fibers.

While synthetic materials are replacing jute in many of these applications, other applications benefit from jute’s biodegradability, which synthetics would not be able to provide. The coarse ends of the plants, known as jute butts, are used to manufacture affordable fabric.

Jute fibers with cellulose (vegetable fiber content) and lignin were traditionally employed in traditional textile machines (wood fiber content). The big breakthrough occurred when the car, pulp and paper, furniture, and bedding sectors began to utilize jute and its associated fibers in nonwoven, technical textiles, and composites using their nonwoven and composite technologies.

Hessian cloth, sacking, scrim, carpet backing cloth (CBC), and canvas are just a few of the materials made from jute. Bags, wrappers, wall-coverings, upholstery, and home furnishings are all made of hessian, which is lighter than sacking.

The term comes from the usage of sacking, a cloth composed of hefty jute fibers. Consumers are increasingly appreciating the value of diverse jute goods. Espadrilles, floor coverings, household textiles, and high-performance technical textiles are among them. Geotextiles, composites, and other materials are available.

Gillie outfits, which are employed as camouflage and mimic grasses or brushes, are likewise made of jute. As a result, jute is the most environmentally benign fabric, from seed to expired fiber, since expired fibers may be regenerated several times.

Differences Between Cotton and Jute Bags

Cotton and jute bags are progressively gaining favor in both the industrial and fashion worlds, because of their adaptability, durability, and environmental benefits. Jute and cotton bags have long been a staple of traditional societies across the globe, to the point that they are often confused.

Cotton is derived from the seeds of the Genus Gossypium plant, which belongs to the Malvaceae family, and is used to make bags and other environmentally friendly packaging. It is also known for its flexibility as a clothing fiber.

Jute, on the other hand, is a rougher and coarser competitor to cotton. Jute has a long history of usage as a raw material for burlap bags, Hessian bags, and gunny sacks. It is made from the fibers of plants of the genus Corchorus. Aside from the variation in origin, both fibers have a significant variance in toughness. While cotton tends to be softer, jute is rougher, however, it may be processed to make it soft and malleable.

Both materials may be used for industrial reasons and have been widely used as clothing fabrics, although cotton is significantly more appropriate for clothing usage, whilst jute is better suited for industrial use. Another distinction is that the color of both materials varies widely, with cotton being a more conventional white-to-off-white, whilst jute may be dirty-white, pale-brown, or even rich golden in color, with the latter being more prevalent for higher-quality jute fibers.


It is difficult to rival the delicate nature of cotton when it comes to determining which is superior, which is why it is a perfect material for clothes. However, when it comes to strong tensile strength, jute is the favored option among merchants and buyers.

At Monami Impex Ltd, we are proud to provide jute to businesses that are looking toward an eco-friendly pathway. We are proud to offer an extensive selection of top-of-the-line jute products. To find out more about how our family-owned business can help you in finding the perfect jute product for your needs, don’t hesitate to contact us today.


Is jute stronger than cotton?

Jute contains 60% cellulose and cotton contains 90% cellulose. Thus, jute fiber is more durable than cotton fiber.

What distinguishes jute fiber spinning from cotton fiber spinning?

Spinning systems are divided into two categories: those for long fibers and those for short fibers. Wool and jute (long fibers) are spun in different methods than cotton and viscose, for example. Short fiber systems spin significantly faster than long fiber systems.

Why are jute bags used instead of cotton for gunny sacks?

Because jute is much stronger than cotton

Is ‘jute’ a more environmentally friendly option than cotton?

Jute bags are constructed of an extremely robust fabric. It is an environmentally beneficial alternative to plastic bags. It may also be used as a stronger material replacement for cotton bags. 

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