Often referred to as the ‘golden fibre’, jute is one of the best ways to a sustainable future. It’s a natural fibre that has been used up for decades now, yet continues to grow in popularity over time. Cultivated primarily in the tropical lowland areas, this rain-fed crop demands 60%-90% humidity level to thrive, without relying much on pesticides and fertilizer. In one hectare, it accommodates 2 tonnes of dry fibre, coming second to cotton in terms of both yield and variety.
The source of this amazing affordable natural fibre is mostly the bark of a white plant (the scientific name being Corchorus capsularis) and tossa jute at other times. Being an annual crop, its growth spans for about 120 days with the extraction process following either chemical or biological retting.
Of the two, biological retting enjoys greater popularity, the same being relatively cheaper. Conducted through steep, stack or ribbon, techniques, each of the processes covers bundling of the natural fibre, separation of the same from the stem and stripping. The last step, takes care of the non-fibrous matter, leaving behind only the natural fibres.
Is It Environment-Friendly?
Why do you think jute as fibre is the key to a sustainable future? The reasons are simple yet impressive, pin-pointing at its biodegradability, recyclable element and the role played by it in enriching the soil, making it fertile over time. Moreover, each hectare absorbs from the atmosphere 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide, releasing 11 tonnes of oxygen in return. Lastly, it never emits toxic gases when it’s set on fire.
Versatility Of Jute
One of the perks of investing in this golden fibre is its versatility. Though the bulk of it goes into the making of sacks, the other half contributes to the manufacturing of sturdy fibres in association with miscellaneous materials, both synthetic and natural. In fact, it’s a reason why synthetic fibres have lost their significance with jute replacing it.
- As textiles
Apart from regular manufactured products like carpet backing cloth, sacks, twines and hessian, it also plays a major role in the fabrication of chair coverings, area rugs, curtains and carpets.
- As packaging
Much of the agricultural produce reaches its suppliers and distributors packed in sacks, made up of a rigid material, the same being jute!
- As by-products
The by-products of this natural fibre also find its application in medicine, paints and cosmetics. One can even trace it in villages as fences and as a fuel. It’s also a wonderful substitute for the non-renewable resource- wood for manufacturing pulp and paper.
Four intrinsic properties are contributing to the success of jute. Find below the same:
- Low thermal conductivity
- Enjoys moderate moisture retention
- Provides good insulation
Countries Contributing To Jute Production
India and Bangladesh are the two leading countries, contributing to 95% of world production. Other nations like Myanmar, Pakistan and Nepal, also cater to the massive demand through a small portion.
Market Demand For Jute
By now, you must have understood that jute is popular for good reasons. Not only does it single-handedly take care of single material products but also readily allows cotton blends to produce superior quality textiles for interior decoration. The market demand stands a good chance of rising with further investment in expertise to create diversified jute products.
Indeed, jute is the key to a sustainable future. It’s versatile, eco-friendly and biodegradable, bringing all a wonderful opportunity to a cleaner and greener world.