Jute is in general a natural fiber most typically called the GOLDEN FIBRE that is grown in abundance throughout Bangladesh. It is believed without a doubt that jute occupied the globe marketplace for quite a while for its unique chemical properties like rough handling, strength power, straightforward degradability and environmentally friendliness. As considered the “FIBRE OF THE FUTURE” it is the cheapest and strongest among other natural fibres.
Jute is a natural fibre from vegetable origin with silky and golden shine. It's Scientific name is CORCHORUS. It is produced from plants in the GENUS CORCHORUS, which was once classified with the FAMILY TILIACEAE, more recently with MALVACEAE, and has now been reclassified as belonging to the family SPARRMANNIACEAE. Although there are quite a lot of number of species of jute available (approximately 40), out of which only two species have got its main real commercial value as well as industrial use which internationally named CORCHORUS CAPSULARIS L. (commonly known as White Jute) and CORCHORUS OLITORIUS L. (commonly known as Tossa/Traditional Jute). There is another type which is known as MESTHA which is the natural substitute of jute.
This golden fiber is inexpensive and produced from the outer coating of the plant’s stem. It has low extensibility, high tensile potency which ensures better breathability of fabrics. Its eco-friendliness and reusability are the reasons to be one in all the foremost versatile natural fibers used for various purposes like packaging, agricultural textile and non-textile sectors. The flexibility of blending with any other fibers in manufacturing process makes it the second most vital vegetable fibre next to cotton in terms of usage, availability, international utilization and fabrication.
The fibers are off-white to brown, and 1–4 meters (3–13 feet) long. Jute is also called "the golden fiber" for its color and high cash value. It is one of the few crops which can be grown in the monsoon season, and can be rotated with rice to restore the soil fertility and structure. The leaves of jute plants enrich the fertility of the soil for sustained agriculture, and have good nutrition value as vegetables. The suitable climate for growing jute is warm and wet climate. Temperatures from 20˚C to 40˚C and relative humidity of 70%–80% are favorable for successful cultivation. Jute requires 5–8 cm of rainfall weekly, and more during the sowing time. Soft water is necessary for the jute production.
Jute is a natural cellulosic fiber containing alpha-cellulose in the range of 58-64% and non-cellulosic constituents, namely, hemicellulose (20-24%), lignin (12-14%) and traces of pectins, proteins, waxes, minerals and coloring matters. This makes jute partly fibrous and partly non-fibrous.
Jute has proven to be a versatile fiber. The traditional jute products are sacking, hessian and carpet backing cloth. Jute can also be used as a raw material substitute for wood in the pulp and paper industry. Apart from its traditional use as a packaging material, a host of other useful items such as fabric of gorgeous textures, cushion covers, curtains, screens, bed spreads, upholstery and other home furnishings.
The world is going green. Hence most of the developed and also the developing countries have banned or going to ban the use of polythene bags as it is too harmful for a sustainable environment. Eco-concerns drive demand for biodegradable bags on the global market, giving rise to the exports of shopping jute bags from Bangladesh, the finest jute grower of the world. Jute fiber is 100% bio-degradable and recyclable and thus environmentally friendly. On the other hand, Use of jute sticks as fuel and fencing material as substitute for wood prevents deforestation. Therefore, given the increased global concern for the environment, the future prospects for jute remains high.
Jute Growing Areas
Jute is grown throughout the whole country in plenty. Bangladesh saviors an agro-ecological comparative advantage in terms of jute production as it acts as a drainage basin of massive rivers being presented with soil and availability of non-stagnant water for jute retting.
The jute growing areas are broadly divided into three regions:
1. Jat Area (Brahmaputra Alluvium):
This area consists of parts of the districts of Dhaka, Mymensingh, Tangail and Comilla of Bangladesh. These areas are often flooded during the year and thus fresh slits are carried to these areas which are very useful for jute cultivation. Jat area is renowned for highest quality jute fibers.
2. District Area (Ganges Alluvium):
Kushtia, Jessore, Khulna, Rajshahi, Pabna and Dhaka districts are the parts of this area. There are two kinds of district jute namely, “Hard district” and “Soft district”. Hard district is relatively better than the soft district in terms of quality. District jute stands second in terms of quality.
3. Northern Area (Tista Silt):
This area constitutes parts of districts of Dinajpur, Rangpur, Bogra and Shirajgonj. Northern jute considered lowest in terms of quality.
Basic Jute Products
The most basic and essential jute commodities fabricated in Bangladesh jute mills are:
Canvas: It is the finest jute item, woven with highly premium grades of fiber. Jute canvas and screen lamination along with paper polythene is widely used in mines and for getting protection against weather.
Sacking Cloth: Made up of low quality jute fibers, sacking cloth is loosely woven heavy cloth used for packing sugar, food grains, cement etc. Weighing from 15 to 20 ozs, several qualities are available in this category like Twill, heavy Cees, D.W Flour, Cement Bags and many more.
Hessian Cloth: It is a plain woven superior quality jute fabric, weighing between 5 and 12 ozs, a yard. Hessian cloth is highly exported all across the world in the form of cloth, bags etc. Also known as burlap, this cloth is vastly used in wide ambit of applications.
D.W. Tarpaulin: This product is majorly used for coverings on a very high multidimensional scale.
Bags: Used mainly for shopping, bags are usually fabricated from sacking or hessian cloths. They are often decorated with varied artistic designs and with straps, chains and handles in several dimensions and shapes. Other categories of bags are promotional bags which are manufactured to promote items for sale.
Hydrocarbon free jute cloth: This cloth is fabricated by treating jute with vegetable oil. It is a hessian fabric, hydrocarbon free cloth, widely used for packing different food materials, cocoa, coffee, peanut beans etc.
Geo-textile: It is a jute cloth laid along the river embankment sides and hill slopes to prevent soil erosion and landslides.
Serim Cloth: It is a light weight hessian cloth, used in felt industry for reinforcing the non woven fabric and for strengthening paper with lamination.
Tobacco sheets: Used for wrapping tobacco leaves, tobacco sheets are made up of hessian cloth.
Decorative items: The vast variety of decorative products are made up of jute fabrics like wall hangings, toys, table lamps, paper, decorative bags, furniture and many more.
Hessian tapes and gaps: They are made up with hessian cloth, woven with gaps at regular intervals and the cloths cut between the gaps to make small width taps.