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Jute Fiber

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Jute is a natural vegetable bast fiber which is obtained from the bark of the jute plant. It belongs to the species Corchorus olitorius (white jute), Corchorus capsularis (tossa jute) and genus Corchorus and family tiliaceae. The second worlds production of textile fiber after cotton is jute. The fabrics made from jute fiber is called as burlap, hessian cloth, gunny cloth. It is also called as golden fiber because of its color, shine, luster and cost-effectiveness. It is native to Indian subcontinent. It grows to a height of 8 to 12 feet. It requires the temperatures of 20˚ C to 40˚ C (68° F to 104° F) and 5–8 cm (about 2-3 inches) of rainfall weekly.

Processing of jute fiber:


Harvesting of jute can be done before flowering. Jute plants should be cut close to the ground with the sickles.


Then they left in the fields for drying and leaves to shed for about 2 to 3 days.


Then the bundles tied together and soak in 30cm deep water or laid in ponds, ditches or slow moving streams and left for 5 to 15 days. The optimum water temperature for retting is 80 ͦ F.

Extraction/stripping process:

after the completion of retting, the fibers from the stalk is extracted by the process called stripping. It can be extracted by breaking it in to a to and fro motion in water.

Washing process:

Then the extracted fibers are washed in fresh water. The dark color of fibers which are present in the extracted fibers can be removed by dipping them in tamarind water for 20 minutes and then washed in clean water.

Drying process:

Then the washed fibers are dried under the sun for 2-3 days.

Chemical composition of jute fiber:


Physical properties:

Ultimate length: 1.5 to 4 mm

Ultimate diameter: 0.015 to 0.020 mm

Length: 1 to 4 m or 2.5mm

Tenacity: 70 gm/tex

Elongation: 1.7% at the break

Extension at break: 2.0%

Specific gravity: 1.48

Density: 1.45 to 1.52 gm/cc

Work of rupture: 0.18 g/tex

Moisture regain: 13.75%

Diameter: 17 to 20 microns

Color: white, off white, yellow, golden, grey, brown

Chemical properties:

Effect of acids: It is easily damaged by concentrated cold acid and hot dilute acids.

Effect of alkalis: It is not damaged by the action of alkaline medium.

Effect of bleaches: It is resistant to bleaching agents i.e.. H2o2, Naocl, NaClo2, CH3COOH, Na2O2, KMnO4 etc.

Effect of light: it is damaged by sunlight due to presence of lignin constituent. Yellowing is observed due to the effect of sunlight.

Effect of micro-organisms: Resistant to micro-organisms

Dyeing ability: Basic dye is used to dye jute fiber and the dyeing process is easy.

Uses of jute fiber:

It can be used to make

  • Sackings, hessian, carpet backings, webbings, twine, rope

  • Decorative fabrics, furnishing fabrics, upholstery fabrics, draperies, kitchen and gardener’s apron, table mats, hats, gloves, luggage bags, fancy bags, shopping bags, carpets.

  • Jute geo-textiles for road construction, canal bank protection, erosion control.

  • Mulching fabric, sleeve for plant saplings, sun screen nets for sericulture plants and cocoons.

  • Paper pulp, Rigid Fiber Reinforced Composites with Thermostat and Thermoplastic Polymer/Resin Matrix, Jute non-woven Felt Fabric for Back-Liner.

Advantages of jute fiber:

It is strong, breathable, moisture absorbent, eco-friendly, antistatic, insulating fiber, biodegradable, high tensile strength, versatile, cost-effective, can be recycled and can be easily blended with synthetic fibers.

Disadvantages of jute fiber:

It loses strength if exposed to water, has less crease resistance and it does not have good enough drape property.

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