Jute: A Sustainable Living Alternative

Sustainable living is important for so many reasons. You may value the ability to keep your family healthy without relying on products with harsh chemical ingredients, or you may simply want to avoid contributing to landfills and be more environmentally conscious.


But have you considered the sustainable alternatives to cotton and other textiles? What about the qualities of jute? While it may not be as well-known as other materials, this sustainable alternative to cotton is one that deserves attention. 

Whatever reason you have for wanting to go green, this article is here to give you everything you need to discover the world of possibilities this sustainable product has to offer, and why you need to jump on board!

So, What is Jute?

Jute is a renewable raw material that has been cultivated for centuries. The Jute plant, Corchorus Capsularis, produces the longest, and most used natural fibers for different textile applications. Jute fiber makes up about 75% of the plant that grows over five feet tall! 

The nickname ‘golden fiber' comes from the lush, golden appearance these natural fibers have after they have been processed. The fiber processing technique is based on preference, but it can either be processed manually or by using a machine.

Jute is a rain-fed crop that grows in about 120 days from April to August, flourishing in lowland tropical areas with humidity of 60-90%. Per hectare, this incredible plant produces yields of around 2 tonnes of dry fiber. It’s grown naturally by farmers across India, however, it can grow pretty much anywhere. 

Perhaps the best way to understand the incredible versatility of this sustainable living alternative is by seeing how it’s being used.

What are the main uses of Jute?

Jute can be processed into many different products. Here are some of the main uses of this incredibly attractive and sustainable alternative:

Household Products

The primary consumer markets that use recycled Jute materials include quilts, pillows, and upholstery padding. Jute batting material can be exceptionally useful to fill pillows with a high level of resilience, comfort, and affordability. The short fibers serve as a lightweight material with good insulation properties that are also easy to compress and mold into the desired shape.

While the batting is made from the plant fibers leftover from processing jute for industrial uses. This batting can make furniture more comfortable by adding softness to absorb sound, reduce vibration and dampen the movement of buttons or zippers.

Textiles

Yarn and twine, sack, hessian, and carpet backing cloth are just a few of the high-quality manufactured goods produced from jute fiber. It has excellent tensile strength, low extensibility, and promotes the breathability of textiles. The fibers are woven into curtains, chair covers, carpets, and even rugs. 

Rope

Rope is probably one of the most versatile products that can be made from jute because there are so many different types of knotting and braiding techniques. There are also many different uses for rope, from carrying a suitcase to tying a boat's anchor.

Paper

Jute paper is similar to normal paper, except that it's stronger and more durable. This material has even been proven to be much more sustainable than bamboo paper, which was once considered the future of renewable goods. The production of Jute paper requires no harmful chemicals or bleaching like cotton, and it can even be recycled up to three times!

Fabrics

This textile can be blended with wool, cotton, and synthetic fibers to create uniquely blended fabrics. Not only is it extremely strong, but it also allows for breathability and durability. You can even dye and print on them just like any other fabric. 

Apparel

Jute is also gaining interest in specialty apparel markets such as socks and interior furnishings due to its softness and comfort. In fact, a majority of jute fiber produced currently goes into non-woven composites used in construction, especially for thermal insulation. Jute is also used as an essential ingredient in the manufacturing of jute pile fabrics, which are known for their softness and durability.

By-products

The industry of jute includes a wide range of by-products, including cosmetics, medicine, paints, and other items. Jute stalks can even be used as fencing materials in rural regions where jute is cultivated.

In addition to these incredible uses, jute can also be used to make yarn, insulation materials, packaging tape, reinforced plastic, animal bedding, mulch mats for landscaping applications, geotextiles for controlling soil erosion, and even underlayment for wood flooring. 

Let's take a look at some reasons why this plant should be YOUR next textile alternative, too.

What are the benefits of Jute?


Jutes quality makes for high-end textiles with durability like no other fiber out there! They are:

Eco-friendly

When this plant is growing, it absorbs CO², thus helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which lead to global warming and climate change. Produced without using harmful pesticides and herbicides, these fibers can be recycled up to six times without loss of strength or quality. Harvesting uniquely leaves the soil richer, rather than depleted as traditional alternatives do. 

This is because it replenishes nitrogen back into the ground naturally, making it one of the most environmentally friendly materials on the market today! This eco-friendly alternative also uses less water to grow and maintain, and because it’s biodegradable, it’s a no-brainer alternative to plastic, metals, and fabric.

Strength

Jute is extremely durable and is resistant to tearing. The material will not fray or unravel, which means you do not have to be concerned with it coming apart over time. It's stronger than cotton and bamboo, but still softer than hemp.

Durability

The natural fibers of jute are not only strong but also resistant to rot and decomposition. It is able to resist mold growth as it does not support mildew spores to grow on its fibers. This makes it a great option for sustainable products that need to withstand the elements, perfect for outdoor projects like decking flooring or window shades.

Jute also has natural UV protection properties that can help extend the lifespan of the products by protecting them from sun exposure. 

Health

Jute is hypoallergenic, which means it will not trigger any allergies. If you are concerned with using harmful chemicals in your home or business, jute can be a great alternative because it has anti-microbial properties.

Insulation

Jute products have phenomenal insulating and antistatic properties, as well as having low thermal conductivity and moderate moisture retention. It provides warmth without being too heavy, perfect for all kinds of clothing items like sweaters, jackets, and hats.

Fast and Easy Growth

Jute is also a crop that can be harvested in one year, which means you will not have to wait long before the material is ready. Jute also has very few pests - only one type of worm feeds on the leaves! Making it easier to grow than other crops such as cotton.

Monetary Benefits

The crop is a great source of revenue for farmers, as it provides food, shelter, medicine, and clothing for their families. Additionally, it’s extremely cost-effective to make, while still producing quality products!

Looking at all the different uses and benefits that this incredibly sustainable living alternative has to offer, it is easy to understand why…

The Future is Jute

The demand for natural and sustainable fiber blends is growing rapidly. Jute has now been acknowledged as an environmental, cost-effective material, and despite its limited market share at present, there is potential to expand dramatically as more resources and knowledge are invested in it. 

What are you waiting for? It’s time that this incredible product gets the investment it deserves. The future consideration of sustainability is upon us, and the solution is Jute.