Jute Fiber has another special name “Golden fiber”. It is derived from the bark of two species – White Jute plant and Tossa Jute plant. Its golden color and silk-like glimmer give it its special name.
The resilient affordable fiber
Its common name is derived from its name in Oriya “Jhuta. It is the second largest vegetable fiber next only to cotton. It can be spun into coarse threads that are durable for long term use. Some of its qualities that make it popular are
- It is cheap and affordable
- Commonly available in our country due to apt climatic conditions for its growth
- Versatile even to make textiles as it does not irritate the skin
- 100% bio-degradable so it is the best product for environment cost
- It can be blended with other fabrics
- High tensile strength
- Anti-static and insulating properties
- Breathable fabric hence good for textile and packing industries
A note on cultivation of this wonder fiber
This fiber is cultivated in tropical lowlands under humid conditions. It needs alluvial soil to grow plus standing water. Water is very much necessary and it needs the monsoon season to grow.
It is usually planted in April/ May and takes 120 days to reach maturity. It yields about 2 tons of fiber per hectare. It also enriches the soil. These are the two reasons why it is cultivated in crop rotation.
Retting is a process to extract fibers from the stem of the plant.
Jute producing states in India
Jute cultivation is concentrated in the eastern region of India. About 50% of raw jute is cultivated in West Bengal. Other of the jute producing states in India are.
- Uttar Pradesh
- West Bengal
- Andhra Pradesh
Jute Fiber and its uses
Traditionally jute has been used for storing vegetable produce. The golden fiber was used as a replacement for hemp and flax during the industrial revolution. Even now it is the biggest jute export product of India in spite of usage in various other industries and sectors.
Today, the scene is more diverse; Jute finds applications in the following sectors as well…
Textiles and Home decor
Some of the products made from jute fiber are yarn, twine, hessian, sacking and carpet backing material. These first stage products converted into upholstery, curtains, carpets, rugs and chair covers. The fiber is treated with caustic soda to beget qualities of wool such as softness, pliability, and crispness. The finest fibers are woven into imitation silk sarees and dress materials.
Jute has always been used by agricultural industry for packaging of agricultural produce as it is breathable and has other special qualities for storing. The main products manufactured from are gunny cloth matting, rope, twine and sacks for storing grain.
It is now used as an alternative to plastic shopping bags.
- Used as cosmetics
- substitute for paper
- It is used as a food source n some countries like Nigeria. It is rich source of iron, calcium and vitamin C.
Bangladesh is the largest producer but India is the largest manufacturer of Jute products. Here is a list of innovative products made with Jute today, that you can buy and enjoy the benefits of this golden fiber:
- Packaging – Hessian cloth, sacks
- Food grade bags
- Jute Fiber blinds
- Garments – saris, dress material, kerchiefs
- Pen holders, Boxes, photo frames, candle holders
- Kitchen items –Trays, Bowls, Napkin rings, Coasters
- Carpets, Hemp durries
- Bags – Backpacks, Christmas bags, Beach bags, Gift bags, Pouches, Promotion bags, Bottle bags, Totes, handbags, shopping bag, clutches
- Fashion accessories/ornaments – neckpieces and earrings
- Rope chandelier
- Footwear – sandals, slipper,
- Phone covers
- Wall hangings
- Geo textiles
Most of these products can be obtained from the different jute manufacturers across the country. There are also many Jute sellers online.
Featured Photo by Alexa Baehr