Jute is one of the strongest natural fibers. The long staple fiber has high tensile strength and low extensibility. Its luster determines quality; the more it shines, the better the quality. It also has some heat and fire resistance. Jute is a biodegradable features.
Jute can also be blended with wool. By treating jute with caustic soda, crimp, softness, pliability, and appearance is improved, aiding in its ability to be spun with wool. Liquid ammonia has a similar effect on jute, as well as the added characteristic of improving flame resistance when treated with flame proofing agents.
For general utility purposes, jute products fall into four classes of manufacture:
HESSIAN or BURLAP: A plain woven fabric of 5 to 12 ozs. a yard, made of good quality jute yarn. It is used for a wide range of applications as in cloth form and in the form of bags.
SACKING: It is also known as “heavy goods,” made from lower grades of fiber, loosely woven cloth, in plain or twill weave, weighing from 12-20 ozs. per yard of different widths. It is used for bags of all types.
CANVAS – The finest jute product, closely woven of the best grades of fiber widely used in India for protection from the weather.
JUTE YARN and TWINE – Most of the single strand jute yarn produced is consumed by the mills themselves in fabric and twine manufacture. Jute twine in varying weights and thickness is, used extensively both in India and abroad for sewing, tying, and for a variety of industrial applications such as packing pipe joints, cable binding, etc.
Jute is a rain-fed crop and its cultivation is concentrated in Bangladesh, India, China, and Thailand. The jute fibre comes from the stem and ribbon (outer skin) of the jute plant. The fibres are first extracted by retting. The retting process consists of bundling jute stems together and immersing them in low, running water.
There are two types of retting: stem and ribbon. After the retting process, stripping begins. In the stripping process, non-fibrous matter is scraped off, then the workers dig in and grab the fibres from within the jute stem.
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. The fibres are used alone or blended with other types of fibres to make twine and rope. Jute butts, the coarse ends of the plants, are used to make inexpensive cloth. Conversely, very fine threads of jute can be separated out and made into imitation silk.
As jute fibres are also being used to make pulp and paper, and with increasing concern over forest destruction for the wood pulp used to make most paper, the importance of jute for this purpose may increase.
Jute has a long history of use in the sackings, carpets, wrapping fabrics (cotton bale), and construction fabric manufacturing industry. 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, composite production of sheet moulding compound, resin transfer moulding, vacuum pressing techniques and injection. During 1941, Henry Ford tested the strength of a car trunk made from soybean fibre and used flax. But after research jute has become the better option over flax in producing car interiors.
Also, fabrics made of jute fibres are carbon- dioxide neutral and naturally decomposable. Diversified byproducts which can be cultivated from jute include uses in cosmetics, medicine, paints, and other products.
Jute has entered various diversified sectors, where natural fibres are gradually becoming better substitution. Among these industries are paper, celluloid products (films), non-woven textiles, composites (pseudo-wood), and geotextiles. 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.
Geo-Textiles is 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 Geo Textiles can be used more than a year and the bio-degradable jute Geo Textile left to rot on the ground keeps the ground cool and is able to make the land more fertile.
Jute floor coverings consist of woven and tufted and piled carpets. Jute non-woven’s and composites can be used for underlay, linoleum substrate, and more. Jute has many advantages as a home textile, either replacing cotton or blending with it. It is a strong, durable, color and light-fast fiber. Its UV protection, sound and heat insulation, low thermal conduction and anti-static properties make it a wise choice in home décor. Also, fabrics made of jute fibres are carbon- dioxide neutral and naturally decomposable. Diversified byproducts which can be cultivated from jute include uses in cosmetics, medicine, paints, and other products.