What is Jute?

Posted by Natural Area Rugs on Dec 31st 2015

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Jute is a natural plant fiber produced mainly in India. It is most often used to make twine or rope, which is then woven or blended into different products, such as floor coverings, fabrics and clothing. Jute is extremely durable, affordable and eco-friendly, making it an ideal material for a variety of products.

Jute Production

The plant from which jute is made grows well in extremely rainy conditions. It is inexpensive to grow because it flourishes in wet weather and is resistant to pests and disease. The production of jute is second only to that of cotton, and jute is much easier and cheaper to grow because it does not necessitate excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Jute production is concentrated in India, with China being the next largest producer. It was traded by the British East India Company in the 1600s, and the British began to capitalize greatly on its production. Entrepreneurs from Great Britain began to move to India to create factories that manufactured this versatile material that has so many different applications.

Products Made from Jute

Jute is often used to make inexpensive fabric with a variety of uses. Burlap is made from jute and is utilized across the world to store grain and coffee. Because it is biodegradable, jute fabric can be used to prevent erosion in areas of heavy rains or severe flooding, protecting seedlings until they are able to fully develop and intertwine their own roots into the soil. When used for this purpose, the jute will eventually biodegrade without harming the environment.

Jute is also popular in upholstery. Fabrics made from jute tend to be thick and durable, making them stand up to heavy use. For this reason, jute is popular for chair coverings and rugs. Jute curtains can provide insulation, especially when used on exterior windows and doors.

Although jute tends to be highly textured and somewhat rough, it can create a very soft textile when its fibers are blended with other materials. Jute has been added to wool and cotton yarns to strengthen them, and it can be blended with synthetics or other natural fibers to make clothing. The hair-like jute fibers can even be spun into an imitation silk.

Eco-Friendly Jute

This versatile material is environmentally friendly throughout its life cycle. Growing the crop in the ideal ecosystem does not place an undue burden on the environment, and the plant grows naturally without much chemical intervention. Products made from jute are often handmade. Jute manufacturing does not necessitate the use of machinery that adds to the world’s carbon footprint. The parts of the jute plant that aren’t used to make the fibrous threads can be eaten. In some parts of the world, the leaves are used to make soup.
Jute may be an adequate alternative to wood in industries such as paper making. It only takes about half a year to grow to maturity before it needs to be harvested. Growing jute instead of cutting down trees could prevent deforestation.
Jute is a durable and inexpensive material that provides strength to many products and offers a natural look when used in home decor. Although it is often considered to be a somewhat exotic material, jute has a variety of uses and is just as practical and functional as cotton, if not more.

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