Jute is a bast fiber used for sacking, burlap, and twine as a backing material for tufted carpets. It is a long, soft, shiny fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is one of the cheapest natural fibers, and is second only to cotton in amount produced and variety of uses. Jute fibers are composed primarily of the plant materials cellulose, lignin, and pectin. Both the fiber and the plant from which it comes are commonly called jute. It belongs to the genus Corchorus in the basswood family, Tiliaceae.
Properties of Jute Fiber:
- Jute fibre is 100% bio-degradable and recyclable and thus environmentally friendly.
- Jute is a natural fibre with golden and silky shine and hence called The Golden Fibre.
- Jute is the cheapest vegetable fibre procured from the bast or skin of the plant's stem.
- It is the second most important vegetable fibre after cotton, in terms of usage, global consumption, production, and availability.
- It has high tensile strength, low extensibility, and ensures better breathability of fabrics. Therefore, jute is very suitable in agricultural commodity bulk packaging.
- It helps to make best quality industrial yarn, fabric, net, and sacks. It is one of the most versatile natural fibres that has been used in raw materials for packaging, textiles, non-textile, construction, and agricultural sectors. Bulking of yarn results in a reduced breaking tenacity and an increased breaking extensibility when blended as a ternary blend.
- Unlike the fiber known as hemp, jute is not a form of (Cannabis). Therefore it can be much more easily distinguished from forms of Cannabis that produce a narcotic
- Jute is one of the most versatile natural fibres that has been used in raw materials for packaging, textiles, non-textile, and agricultural sectors.
- Jute stem has very high volume of cellulose that can be procured within 4-6 months, and hence it also can save the forest and meet cellulose and wood requirement of the world.
- The best varieties of Jute are Bangla Tosha - Corchorus olitorius (Golden shine) and Bangla White - Corchorus capsularis (Whitish Shine), and Mesta or Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) is another species with fibre similar to Jute with medium quality.
- Raw Jute and Jute goods are interpreted as Burlap, Industrial Hemp, and Kenaf in some parts of the world.
Uses of Jute Fiber
Jute is the second most important vegetable fibre after cotton; not only for cultivation, but also for various uses.
- Jute is used chiefly to make cloth for wrapping bales of raw cotton, and to make sacks and coarse cloth.
- The fibres are also woven into curtains, chair coverings, carpets, area rugs, hessian cloth, and backing for linoleum.
- While jute is being replaced by synthetic materials in many of these uses, some uses take advantage of jute's biodegradable nature, where synthetics would be unsuitable.
- Jute butts, the coarse ends of the plants, are used to make inexpensive cloth.
- Traditionally jute was used in traditional textile machineries as textile fibres having cellulose (vegetable fibre content) and lignin (wood fibre content). But, the major breakthrough came when the automobile, pulp and paper, and the furniture and bedding industries started to use jute and its allied fibres with their non-woven and composite technology to manufacture nonwovens, technical textiles, and composites.
- Jute can be used to create a number of fabrics such as Hessian cloth, sacking, scrim, carpet backing cloth (CBC), and canvas.
- Hessian, lighter than sacking, is used for bags, wrappers, wall-coverings, upholstery, and home furnishings.
- Sacking, a fabric made of heavy jute fibres, has its use in the name.
- Diversified jute products are becoming more and more valuable to the consumer today. Among these are espadrilles, floor coverings, home textiles, high performance technical textiles, Geotextiles, composites, and more.
- Jute is also used in the making of ghillie suits which are used as camouflage and resemble grasses or brush
Another diversified jute product is Geotextiles, which made this agricultural commodity more popular in the agricultural sector. It is a lightly woven fabric made from natural fibres that is used for soil erosion control, seed protection, weed control, and many other agricultural and landscaping uses. The Geotextiles can be used more than a year and the bio-degradable jute Geotextile left to rot on the ground keeps the ground cool and is able to make the land more fertile.