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Jute

Updated on February 11, 2017
Jute plant
Jute plant
Jute fiber
Jute fiber

Introduction

Jute is a fiber obtained from the shrubs of white jute and nalta jute. There is a slight difference between the fibers obtained form the two plants but they are classified as same nonetheless. Jute fibers are long and strands of jute fiber are spun together to form very high tensile threads. The fiber has a natural sheen. Jute is a vegetable fiber that is produced in very large quantities and it cheap compared to many other fibers. Jute fibers are white to brown colored and are composed of cellulose. Research in jute genome is being done in order to understand the structure of the jute fibers which may help in the better production or synthetic substitutes for the jute fibers. Hybrids of jute plants are also being researched in order to have plants with better characteristics. Qualities like high tensile strength, low cost and long uniform structure make the jute fiber a highly sought after commodity to make finished products.

Retting of Jute
Retting of Jute

Cultivation

Soil is cultivated to place jute seeds in rows to allow good growth for the jute plant. Alluvial soil is good to grow jute. Monsoon season is good to grow jute as the jute plants requires good rainfall with warm temperatures. When plants start growing they are regularly monitored. Harvest begins after flowering and pant stalks are manged after harvesting begins. Plant stalk have hard outer covering called pertin which is softened using water. The fibers are removed to form lengthy strands and are washed to extract jute fiber. The wet fiber is dried in sunshine and then tied in bundles for transporting them to factories for further processing. Retting of jute plant is employed by farmers to increase the yield of the crop and to better the quality of jute fibers. India and China are the biggest producers of jute in the world. Jute stems are bundled together and to loosen the outer skin of the bundles stems, the bundles are immersed in soft water for around three weeks. Removal of the outer layer of the jute skin is a labor intensive job done by workers who peel the outer skin o the jute stems and extract fibers from the jute plant. Fertile soils are good to grow the jute crop. Plantation of jute crop is environment friendly as thee crop does not requires uses of fertilizers.

Jute fabric
Jute fabric
Jute product
Jute product

Uses

Ropes, gunny sacks, mats and other materials are made using the jute fiber. When the jute fiber is combined with certain elements or materials, the resultant material has high tensile strength and can be used to make enduring frames and panels which can withstand strong wind currents. Jute mats prevent soil erosion during floods and are a natural biodegradable material which make it very valuable. Grains, cotton bales, textiles, papers are wrapped in jute sacks and transported for use. Carry bags, hand bags, curtains, upholstery, furnishing products, rugs and mattresses are made using jute fiber. Jute is biodegradable and has minimal effect on the environment and so it is widely used in manufacturing process. Jute butts are used to make cloth. Very fine fibers extracted from jute stem are use to make fone and expensive cloth similar to silk. Paper producing factories use jute to make paper. Shortage of wood pulp and availability, flexibility and qualities of jute fiber has made it a popular alternative for paper. Many other industries have started using jute fiber as an alternative for wood fiber. Technical and geo textiles are now made from jute and other textiles which may use jute as raw material are also being researched in similar fields Jute is a good insulator and sweaters are woven out of special jute yarns. Hand loom and power loom industries also use jute fibers and weave them in carpets and rugs used in homes and offices. Jute fibers have low heat conduction, high durability and provide protection from ultra violet light. The jute plant take nearly five months to grow which is quite fast as compared to wood and so jute is being considered as an alternative for wood pulp for many products. Jute plant’s leaves are used in maintaining soil fertility, weed control and containing ground temperature. In many countries, jute is mixed with vegetables and non vegetarian food to make soups, stews and curries. In some ares jute leaves are mixed with vegetables can served as a dish. Cosmetic makers and paint producing factories also use jute in their products. Jute fibers blend with many natural and synthetic fibers and can undergo any type of dyeing process. Jute is blended with wool by using sodium hydroxide. Recycling jute fibers and materials made of jute is very simple. Chemicals and organic compounds are used to make jute fiber usable for many different things.

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