About Jute

THE JUTE FIBER

Jute is a seasonal agricultural commodity product widely grown in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Raw jute crop is an important cash crop to the farmers. Cultivation of raw jute crop provides not only fibre, which has industrial use, but also jute stick which is an important fuel to the farming community.
It is produced mainly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura and Meghalaya.
Two species of jute commonly cultivated are white and tossa jute. It is second most important vegetable fibre after cotton, in terms of consumption and production. Jute plants are usually 2.5-3.5metre in height. Only a small portion of the plant (approx 4-6%) is utilised for extracting its fibre. The fibre is separated from the plant by tying the plants in bundles and immersing them in running or stagnant water for a sufficient period. The process is called retting. It is a photo reactive plant which needs 120 days for its harvesting.
Temperate, wet and humid climate are conducive for its growth. Being 100% natural, eco-friendly, renewable, biodegradable it causes very little environmental pollution.

INDIAN JUTE INDUSTRY

Jute is an integral part of the Indian Textile Industry. It is one of the major industries in the eastern region, particularly in West Bengal. It provides direct employment to about 2.61 lakh workers and supports the livelihood of around 4million farm families and around 1.4 lakh people engaged in the tertiary sector and allied activities.
Moreover, the Jute Industry also contributes to exports. The Government has included the Jute Sector for special attention in its National Common Minimum Programme. The production process in the Jute Industry goes through a variety of activities, which include cultivation of raw jute, processing of jute fibres, spinning, weaving, bleaching, dyeing, finishing and marketing of both raw jute and its finished products.
Currently production of fibre in India is around 100 lakh bales and about 73 jute mills are operating in the country. Besides, there are small scale industries in the decentralized sector producing handicrafts, decorative, twines, pulp & paper from jute and allied fibres and particle board from jute stick. As per the latest Exim Bank report on the Jute industry, the world market for GTs, currently dominated by synthetics is over 40 million sq m. Immense potential also exists in the USA and Europe.

Components of Jute

1

Lignin

12 – 14%

2

Holocellulose

83 – 87%

3

Wax

0.4 – 0.8%

4

Ash

0.5 – 1%

5

Nitrogen

0.2 – 0.4%

WHY JUTE ?

Jute, known as the “Golden fibre”, is a long, soft and golden silky shining fibre extracted from the Corchorus family. Jute is a rain-fed plant thriving in humid climate and requiring minimal use of pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals. The fibre extracted from the jute is used in making sacking, hessian bags, yarns and other diversified products.

1

Jute is completely biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Jute can blend into mother earth in just 2 to 3 years without producing any toxic fumes. In comparison, plastic takes about 1,000 years to decompose!

2

One hectare of jute plants consume about 15 tonnes of CO2, while releasing 11 tonnes of oxygen in just 100 days of the harvesting period. It is expected that the farmers will use carbon credit in future validated by the UNFCCC.

3

Jute is the second most important vegetable fibre after cotton noted for its various uses and applications.

4

Jute bags are strong, durable with high insulating and anti-static properties.

5

Jute bags are economically cheaper due to recyclability and long life.

6

Jute bags can be aesthetically very appealing as they can be customized based on size, design, printing and color selection.

7

Jute bags are used extensively as an advertisement tool to promote a shop/ company/ organization as the customized printing in front of the bag are highly attractive.

8

Increasing awareness about the environment protection has led to a surge of jute bags demand from consumers. A large number of retailers, hypermarkets, gift shops, wine shops, food suppliers among others now prefer to use jute bags.

9

A large number of corporate houses have been focusing on environmentally friendly practices. One of the outcomes is to cut down on non-recyclable items and use nature friendly products like jute. This promotes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the company.

10

Recent ban on the use of plastic bags in some cities has put jute bags as a perfect substitute.

11

Accepting the importance of jute fibre, the general assembly of the United Nations has declared 2009 to be the “International Year of Natural Fibres”.

Features of Jute

1

Jute fiber is 100% bio-degradable and recyclable hence environmental friendly.

2

It is a natural fiber with golden and silky shine and hence called The Golden Fiber.

3

It is the cheapest vegetable fiber procured from the bast or skin of the plant’s stem.

4

It is the second most important vegetable fiber after cotton, in terms of usage, global consumption, production, and availability.

5

Jute yarn leaves a fibrous residue which improves the soil structure.

6

It has high tensile strength, low extensibility, and ensures better breathability of fabrics. Therefore, it’s suitable in agricultural commodity bulk packaging.

7

It helps to make best quality industrial yarn, fabric, net, and sacks. It is one of the most versatile natural fibers that has been used in raw materials for packaging, textiles, non-textile, construction, and agricultural sectors.

8

Jute has the ability to be blended with other fibers, both synthetic and natural, and accepts cellulosic dye classes such as natural, basic, vat, sulfur, reactive, and pigment dyes.

9

Some noted disadvantages include poor drapability and crease resistance, brittleness, fiber shedding, and yellowing in sunlight.

10

Jute has a decreased strength when wet, and also becomes subject to microbial attack in humid climates.

11

Jute can be processed with an enzyme in order to reduce some of its brittleness and stiffness. Once treated with an enzyme, jute shows an affinity to readily accept natural dyes, which can be made from marigold flower extract.

Jute Import / Export

The jute trade is centered mainly around Bangladesh and the Indian State of West Bengal. The major producing country of jute is Bangladesh, due to its natural fertile soil. Bengal Jute was taken to Europe early in the 17th century by the Dutch and the French and later by the East India Company to Britain. By the 1790s a much larger trade had developed in the Scottish city of Dundee, the European home of jute spinners. Introduced to the British by the East India Company, crude fibre was the bulk still exported from Bengal after 1790, but a thriving trade did not really begin until after 1850 through mechanised processing, to meet rising demand.
Raw jute was imported from Bengal by the British East India Company. British Jute Barons grew rich processing jute and selling manufactured products made from jute. Dundee Jute Barons and the British East India Company began to set up jute mills in Bengal and by 1895 jute industries in Bengal overtook the Scottish jute trade. Many Scots emigrated to Bengal to set up jute factories. More than a billion jute sandbags were exported from Bengal to the trenches during World War I and even more during WWII and also exported to the Americas, especially the United States southern region to bag cotton and coffee. It was used in the fishing, construction, art and in the arms industry. India, China, Thailand, Myanmar also produce Jute in low quantities. India is one of the largest importers of Jute in South Asia and also produces processed jute products in the world, while Bangladesh is the largest producer and exporter of raw jute. Therefore, the local price of raw jute in Bangladesh is the international price. Ironically, the local price of jute goods produced in India set their own price.
As an input to the jute manufacturing (goods) industry, the supply for jute is derived from the demand. Nearly 75% of jute goods are used as packaging materials, burlap, gunny cloth, (hessian), and sacks. Carpet Backing Cloth, the third major jute outlet, is fast growing in importance. Currently, it consists of roughly 15% of the world’s jute goods consumption. The remaining products are carpet yarn, cordage, felts, padding, twine, ropes, decorative fabrics, and heavy duty miscellaneous items for industrial use.

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About Jute Trade

Industry Applications

Automobile Industry

Jute reinforced materials have been introduced in the market segments like automotive industry (door panels, dashboard, instrument panels).

Packaging Industry

Sacking, hessian and normal bags are used both for inland transport and export of agricultural products (crates, inlays for crates, pallets, boxes, and cases) and Consumer products (housing for computer screens, refrigerators, etc).

Agriculture

Hydrocarbon free jute bags, a food grade jute bags and cloths confirming to international standard specifications, are used for packaging food stuffs.

Environmental Industry

Soil Erosion control.

Horticultural Industry

Used in nurseries and gardens.

Home Furnishing Industry

Is a major component in carpets and other home furnishing items.

Textile Industry

The coarse end of Jute plants are used to make inexpensive cloth. The very fine thread of jute can also be separated out and used to make imitation silk. Applications in decorative fabrics, chic-saris, salwar-kamizes, soft luggage’s, footwear, greeting cards, moulded door panels and other useful consumer products.

Geo Textile Industry

Can be used to replace glass fibre in many applications, be an important source for geo-textiles, raw material for many technical textiles, and important player in the home furnishing segment. Jute Reinforced Polyolefines (JRP) is finding industrial applications worldwide as cheap low quality jute is being used for making jute-PP granules.

Heavy Machinery Industry

Jute Felt used for vibration control of heavy machines. Jute and its allied fibres with their non-woven and composite technology used in automobile and the furniture and bedding industries to manufacture non woven, technical textiles, composite production of sheet moulding compound, resin transfer moulding, vacuum pressing techniques and injection.

Building & Construction Industry

Hessain is used widely as an important component in the building material industry.