Jute

Generally known as the Golden Fibre owing to its texture and economic importance. Jute is an elongated, soft, glossy natural fiber, with a length of 1 to 4 m and a diameter of 17 to 20 microns, and can be spun into crude, strong threads. It is mainly obtained from two types of plant i.e. white jute plant or Corchorus capsularis and tossa jute Corchorus olitorius, more recently with Malvaceae, which has now been reclassified as belonging to the family Sparrmanniaceae. Jute is extracted from the bark of the plants. Jute is basically a rain-fed crop with no or little need for fertilizer or pesticides, in contrast to cotton’s heavy requirements. Amongst all other natural fibres, Jute is one of the most affordable and is second to cotton in amount produced and variety of its uses as vegetable fibers. For several years, it has been an integral part of the culture of East Bengal, in the entire southwest of Bangladesh. During the seventeenth century the British East India Company started trading in Jute. During the reign of the British Empire Jute was also used in the military. Today its production is intense mostly in Bangladesh, India’s state of West Bengal being its main producer along with Myanmar and Nepal producing much smaller quantities. In India and Bangladesh some 4 million farmers earn their living – and support 20 million dependents – from jute farming, while hundreds of thousands work in the jute urbanized sector.

Basis requirements for the growth of the plant are plain alluvial soil standing water thus it flourishes well in tropical lowland areas with humidity of 60% to 90%. It generally requires a range of 5-8 cm of rainfall weekly and a higher range during its sowing period. According to reports a hectare of jute plants consumes about 15 tones of carbon dioxide thereby releasing around 11 tones of oxygen. Yields are about 2 tones of dry jute fibre per hectare.

Recent advancement has altered the restricted use of jute to a wide diversification o its product. Jute is not only used as sacks, gunny bags or ropes but also as geotextile materials and reinforcement for bio composites.

13 Comments