What is jute or what is jute used for is not new to the world. From ancient times people have been using jute products. Jute is a natural fiber popularly known as golden fiber. It is one of the most affordable natural fibers and second only to cotton in the amount produced and variety of uses. It is totally biodegradable, recyclable, and environmentally friendly. It is grown in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brazil, and some other countries. With the growing awareness for environment-friendly products, the need for jute-based products from different types of jute has never been greater. Technological advancements in fiber processing and end-use designing, it is gaining popularity in the global world.
Jute: More Than Just Pretty Fabric
Jute is the most produced natural fiber after cotton. It has good insulating and anti-static properties, low thermal conductivity, and moderate moisture retention. Many clothing brands and designers are realizing the impact of fast fashion on the environment, making them look for new eco-friendly fabrics to produce both affordable and sustainable clothing by using jute. Other than just a fabric, jute is eco-friendly and sustainable energy or material. It is 100% biodegradable and is the most affordable natural fiber on the market. Jute is now very popular among youngsters as they are very much concerned about the future health of the world. From clothes to daily necessary items, jute is used worldwide to spread environmental awareness.
A Natural Fiber With Many Uses
Jute is a fiber that is produced from plants and falls into the bast fiber category. Being a natural fiber it is a misconception that products made from jute are not durable enough. But the surprising fact is despite being 100% biodegradable jute is durable and reusable. The products from jute fiber are yarn and twine, sacking, hessian, carpet backing cloth, ropes, bags, cloth, medicine, paints, furniture, and many more.
Jute is a long, soft, shiny bast fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. Jute fiber is produced mainly from two commercially important species or jute types namely White Jute (Corchorus capsularis), and Tossa Jute (Corchorus olitorius). It is a lignocellulosic fiber that is partially a textile fiber and partially wood. The fiber is obtained from the stalks of the jute plant. After harvesting, the stalks of jute plants are bundled together and soaked in water for about 20 days. The fibers are then separated from the stem in long strands and washed in clear, running water. The fibers are then spread out or hung up to dry for between 2-3 days. The dried fibers are then collected and bundled to be sent to the mills to be processed into fabric, ropes, gunny sacks, etc.
Jute yarn is a string or thread made by spinning natural jute fibers together. Approximately 90% of all jute fiber is spun into yarn. Once spun, jute yarn has many practical applications and is used across many industries. Curtains, chair coverings, carpets, area rugs, and hessian cloth are made by knitting jute yarn.
Jute rope is a fiber extracted from jute plants and spun together into strong threads. It is commonly used as craft twine for gift wrapping because it is a long, soft, and shiny material. They are highly resistant to heat, sunlight, heavyweight, and friction. It’s extremely lightweight, making it ideal for carrying on long trips. Most natural fiber ropes have a life of about 10 years with proper care. Though jute rope is not the strongest among all, it is still a sustainable one.
Mainly the theme of jute bags came from the idea of eliminating plastic bags. This is now spread in such a positive way that the young generation is now adding jute bags in their fashion day-to-day items too. The bags have that unique golden shine finish. There are also naturally dyed jute bags in the market. Some artists sell jute bags that have their unique artistic touch. The durability of the fiber, coupled with the stiffness of the production of the bags means they are capable of carrying heavy loads and items that come in various different shapes and sizes. Not only fancy bags but some companies are also making jute school bags too. The new trendy tote jute bags are very much hyped now. Jute bags have become a new fashion trend.
Burlap is more like a jute fabric. It is a woven cloth made from the skin of the jute plant. It shares the same characteristics as the jute fibers, which include the coarse feel and the earthy scent that are distinct from jute. This fabric can also be dyed or printed, so you can customize it as you wish. There are countless uses for burlap (hessian, jute) in the home and garden. It can degrade after 4 to 6 months of use. This natural, woven fabric is excellent for crafts, decorating, protecting plants, lining flower planters, growing potatoes, and more.
Jute Twine is a soft natural fiber. It is mainly used for tying twine. Ideal for use in the garden. Jute twine can be used for many different crafts including crocheting. You can crochet jute twine into coasters, baskets, pot holders, placemats, ornaments, and much more. Furthermore, jute twine can be used for other crafting methods such as bracelets, paper mache projects, keychains, dreamcatchers, and then some! It is safe to be used for plants, without damaging them or breaking them off. Jute twine has a tensile strength of approximately 84 lbs. Though it has less strength than Manila and Sisal.
The jute rug is made of fibers from the jute plant. Mostly Asian countries like India and Bangladesh manufacture these. Despite their ability to stand up to years of use, the jute rug is surprisingly soft. While jute is very soft, it is still a durable area rug material, making it the ideal area rug option for most homes. In addition to the soft fibers, jute rugs are also very comfortable due to their thick bold weave, making for a cushiony feel underfoot. It tends to be less expensive than other carpet types such as sisal or seagrass.
Versatile and Affordable
Jute is a biodegradable versatile medium despite the different types of jute. It can be formed from cloth to furniture, as many things as you can name. Jute is being replaced by synthetic materials in many of these uses, some take advantage of jute’s biodegradable nature of jute where plastic and synthetics don’t stand a chance. The various end-use applications of Jute uses that make it a versatile fiber crop are apparel wear, home textiles, industrial applications, and packaging, geotextile, agrotech, build textiles and mobil textiles, pulp and paper, protective textile, and other uses like Bags, toys, footwear, storage boxes, decorative handicrafts, cosmetics, medicine, paints, etc. The home textile industry is progressing towards a more sustainable zone by being spurred by the endurance and versatility of this fabric. It’s evident with the extensive usage of jute in the home furnishing in the form of mats, curtains, chair coverings, carpets, blankets, bedcovers, lampshades, magazine bags, shoe racks, room dividers, wall hangings, blinds, etc. Jute is broadly used in the production of rope and twines for industrial applications and in making baskets and bags for stocking grains and other agricultural produce. The products such as doors, corrugated sheets for flooring and false roof, garden canopies & fences, and street lamps are now being made with jute-based composite. Jute plant is found to be an excellent biomass alternative to forest resources for the production of pulp and paper of a similar quality as those obtained from wood. Jute has better resistance to weather and microbial attack than cotton and is highly utilized as a pesticide barrier and rain protection. Its good thermal stability and diverse chemical functionality make it ideal for protective textile finishing for fire protection, rot-resistance, resistance to photo-yellowing, fiber shedding, staining, etc.
Jute fabric is one of the world’s least expensive textiles. There is very little expense when it comes to growing jute since the plant does not require much in the way of fertilizers, pesticides, and such, and a small area can turn out a lot of crops, so jute is typically a profitable crop and can be very cost-effective. The cost sometimes varies on the types of jute and their uses but ultimately it is a lot cheaper than other materials.
An Eco-friendly and Renewable Resource
Jute reaches maturity quickly, between 4-6 months, making it an incredibly efficient source of renewable material, and therefore “sustainable“. It relies on natural rainfall, rather than extensive and hugely consuming irrigation systems. It uses much less water to produce than cotton plus very little to no fertilizers and pesticides, making it one of the most eco-friendly crops known to man. The Jutes increase the fertility of the land, preserve the ozone layer by absorbing CO2 and clean the air by emitting O2. The jute is used as a vegetable, geo-textile, biogas, and biodegradable product which has an impact on the environment. Its ability to reach maturity in less than 6 months, means that less land is required to cultivate it. There’s no need to encroach upon wilderness and natural habitats thanks to its efficiency of growth, it needs little intervention to grow and replenish. Also, it relies on natural rainfall, needing less water to survive than cotton. Not only is Jute eco-friendly, but it is also an extremely durable fiber that can hold up to some serious wear and tea. It is recyclable and biodegradable which means there is no harm to nature in using jute.
An Ideal Material for Many Applications
The uses for jute are more than hundreds. Jute has various end-use applications that include apparel wear, home textiles, industrial applications, packaging, geotextile, agrotech, build textiles and Mobil textiles, pulp and paper, and protective textiles. It does not end there. The jute fabric is highly breathable – a plus for fashion elements. Bags, toys, footwear, storage boxes, decorative handicrafts, cosmetics, medicine, paints, etc are also applications of jute. From ropes to even clothing, this fiber is very versatile and customizable. You can dye it or simply leave it with its golden hue, turn it into shopping bags, home decor, or cool jackets – the choice is yours to make! The reason it is called an ideal material is that it is less cost-effective, easier to cultivate, eco-friendly, a perfect alternative to plastic, biodegradable, and renewable.
With the increasing global awareness of the use of sustainable, biodegradable, and eco-friendly products, Jute is progressively regaining and widening its usage in both traditional and diversified applications. Jute and jute-based products are put to a wide range of uses. Since antiquity, it has been used as a raw material for packaging. Before being used as a commercial commodity it was used in different parts of the world to make household and farm implements such as ropes, handmade clothes, wall hangings, etc. And now jute products have become a day-to-day life necessity. This economically produced vegetable fiber is a new hope for the future. Its sustainable, biodegradable, and recyclable characteristics are all we are looking for in an ideal replacement for plastic and other non-eco-friendly mediums. The products are attractive and cheaper. Depending on jute does not just give us a better future but also fulfills our needs by its various range of products. With versatility, jute deserves to be considered the best fiber for the future.