Jute Industry

Jute is a natural fiber. It is obtained from the bark of the jute plant as an extract that grows like any other organic crop. In early days, this fibrous plant was also used by the occupants as a fragility that went along with their staple diet.

Beginning of jute as a commercial product dates back to the end of the 18th century. Initially, the jute fiber was made into ropes that were extensively used in the wind and hand driven sea vessels and ships. Later, jute was used as spun and woven for manufacture of carpets. 

Newer technologies developed within 1838. For manufacturing jute cloth, jute fiber was spun into better yarn and woven. In order to enter the daily lives of the people, jute products were initially developed with sacking bags and jute hand bag. Jute also leads the applications in carpet making and packaging since jute started to be woven into fabric form.

Some other properties of jute fiber started to develop since the middle of the last century. It appeared then, that jute fiber and its subsequent processing might find application in new areas of use and also newer products for consumers.

The best alternatives of non-bio degradable plastic bags are jute products, which becomes popular in many countries. Plastics have raised environmental hazards, blocking of drains and natural water streams and many more dangers. Jute bags and paper bags are thus gaining popularity for a good cause. The alternative may not come as cheap as its plastic counter part, but the price paid will still be cheap for the cost of saving to the environment.

There is a good demand of jute products in countries like USA, U.K., Germany, Australia and Middle-east. Demand of jute products in these countries are jute shopping bags, wall hangings and floor coverings. New markets can be developed through consumer awareness and product promotion it will not be surprising to find this natural fiber product become a much of the material for regular use by consumers all over the world.

Jute fiber finds its use in the fields of agricultural, industrial, commercial and domestic. Sacking and Hessians (Burlap) constitute the bulk of the manufactured products. Sacking is commonly used as packaging material for various agricultural commodities viz., rice, wheat, vegetables, corn, coffee beans etc. Sacking and Hessian Cloth are also used as packing materials in the cement and fertilizer manufacturing industries. Fine Hessian is used as carpet backing and often made into big bags for packaging other fibers viz. cotton and wool. 

India, Bangladesh, China, Thailand, Myanmar & Nepal are the major producing countries of Jute  and Allied Fibers (JAF). Around 95% of the global production of JAF is produced together by them. India and Bangladesh produce mostly jute, China produces mostly kenaf while Thailand produces kenaf and roselle. 

Basically, the practice of fermenting the jute plants in jute growing regions is to engage the jute bundles in clear slow flowing water, in canals, streams, tanks and ponds. Plant materials of jute to water should have at least 1:20 ratio in still water.

Water should be free from salt and clear. The volume of water should be enough to allow jute bundles to float. During submerging, bundles should not touch the bottom. The same fermentation tank should not be used when water becomes duller. In order to extract fibers from jute and allied vegetable fiber plants, fermentation process are applied for a long time. As the fibers are contained in the bark or the outer skins of stems, either stems or the outer skins called ribbons are fermented for extracting the fibers. When stems are fermented, then it is called stem fermentation. When ribbons are fermented, then it is called ribbon fermentation. Fermentation is a critical step to produce good quality fiber.

The quality of jute fiber is evaluated by its appropriateness for the production of various types of yarn and its behavior in the manufacturing process. The fiber which spins into the finest yarn is considered to be of very good quality. 

Jute fiber is marketed in bundles of fiber balls. A fiber ball is composed of about 10-15 fiber reeds obtained from 10-15 plants. Each fiber reed is composed of thousands of fiber strands made of ultimate fibers with strengthening materials. Commercially fiber quality is assessed by taking a ball out of a lot, scattering the individual canes on the ground and then assessing the different characteristics by `look & touch' method. 

Jute is an annually renewable energy source with a high biomass production per unit land area. It is biodegradable and its products can be easily prepared without causing environmental hazards. That's why jute products are significantly considered as green products. The roots of jute plants play a vital role in increasing the fertility of the soil. By revolving with other crops like rice and potatoes, jute acts as a barrier to pest and diseases for others crops. It also provides a significant amount of nutrients to other crops as a form of organic matter and micro nutrients. Jute has ecological flexibility. It can be grown on a variety of soil types. They have a good acceptance to salinity, water stress and water logging. Jute has the resistance ability to climatic extremes, pests and diseases. 

Carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption rate is huge in jute plants. It can clean the air by consuming large quantities of CO2, which is the main cause of the greenhouse effect. Theoretically, one hectare of jute plants can consume about 15 tons of CO2 from atmosphere and release about 11 tons of oxygen in the 100 days of the jute-growing season. CO2 absorption rate of jute is higher than trees.

The fast-growing seasonal crop jute reaches a height of 1.5 to 4.5 meters in a period of 4 to 5 months. The average dry stem production of jute ranges from 20-40 ton per hectare, annually. This difference with the production of the fastest growing wood plant which needs at least 10 to 14 years from plantation to harvest, and produces only 8 to 12 ton per hectare annually. As the biological efficiency of jute is much higher than that of wood plants, the use of jute instead of wood to make paper pulp will lower substantially the cost of production of pulp and paper and save forest resources.

There is a fertilizer value of removed jute leaves and it enhances the soil nutrients. Jute leaves are used as vegetables having nutritional and medicinal values. Jute sticks are used as a fuel and shelter in jute growing rural areas which contribute decreasing the use of wood in these applications.

The production flow of Jute associated with sowing, weeding/thinning, harvesting, defoliation, fermentation, fiber extraction, washing and drying. But only a small percentage of the farmers use seed treatment, fertilizers and herbicides/pesticides, which makes the processes before harvesting environmentally sound.

The manufacturing process of jute products involve several phases such as batching, softening with batching oil, carding, drawing, spinning, weaving and finishing. The use of mineral batching oils is being replaced with for specific use like packaging of Coffee. 

Jute plant flourishes best in moist soil in a hot, humid climate. Seeds are hand-sown, and plants mature in three months, often averaging a height of 10 to 12 feet (3 to 3.6 meters). Their light green leaves are arrow-shaped, and small yellow flowers bloom separately or in bunches. Jute is classified scientifically in the genus Cor chorus. 

When the blossoms first start to shed, the plants are harvested. The cut stalks are sorted according to length and gathered into bundles. They are then placed in shallow pools of still water where they are permitted to ferment. When they become soft enough, the fibers are separated from the stalks and then hung on lines to dry. Fibers are sorted, graded, and baled for export after drying.

Burlap, low-grade twine, and many other products are made from jute. Because, its price is low and flexible. Jute is the second largest consumption of natural fibers to cotton in the world. India, Bangladesh and China are the leading producers. 

The Golden Fiber jute has proved the huge popularity in the context of environmental issues. It is biodegradable and environment friendly. So, products combine with the soil after sustained use. In turn, it enriches the soil with organic substance and helps to grow better crops. It emits are non- toxic smoke during combustion process. No additional component or material remains after combustion. JRP (Jute Reinforced Plastic) is widely used to pack tea and fruits especially for its excellent ‘breathing qualities’. It successfully packs garments, cement, fertilizers and other products as well. Geo-jute has been developed to control destruction on mountain slopes, canal banks and railway sidings. It also helps vegetation to grow - naturally. The perfect replacement of wood is jute.

Jute contributes manufacturing different type of products like fine silk, finished fabrics, useful furnishings to complicatedly designed oriental carpets, molded furniture, Wall Hangings, Swing Chairs, Flower Pot Holders, Tea Coasters, Mats, Blankets, Slippers, Shopping Bags, Bead Curtains, Dolls, Soft Luggage, Briefcases, Skirts, Jackets, Lamp Shades, Floor Runners, Panels, Boards and a whole lot more. Inexpensive & Aesthetic. Home and offices are perfect places of these products.


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