I learned about jute when speaking with my jute suppliers during my trip to India last year and then did a little research on my own. Most of the world’s jute is grown in India and Bangladesh, as it’s well suited to the warm, rainy, humid climate there. It’s a tall, leafy plant, growing to about 12 feet tall, requires hardly any fertilizer or pesticide and takes about 4-6 months to mature.
After the plants are harvested, the stalks are soaked in water to soften, allowing the fibers to be stripped from the plant. The fibers are then washed, dried for a few days and then spun into thread and woven into cloth. Jute is one of the most popular natural fibers in the world, second only to cotton in terms of production and consumption.
Jute products have been very popular in India for a long time and I was amazed at the array of available products there…everything from bags to wall hangings to rugs. One of the most attractive attributes of jute is that it is 100% biodegradable and renewable, making it a very eco-friendly resource. It is also extremely durable and strong and is easily woven with other fibers, such as cotton, which is great for bags. Jute isn’t used just for consumer products, but also for rope, twine, gunny sacks, industrial packaging material and many, many other applications. Amazingly versatile!
There’s my answer to the question, “So, what is jute exactly?” Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!