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Jute History

The people of India used jute in small quantities to make rope, paper, and coarse hand woven fabrics for matting and bedding.

Noting these products, English traders early saw the potential of jute as a substitute of hemp and flax. In 1793, the East India Company exported the first consignment of jute. This first shipment, 100 tons, was followed by additional shipments at irregular intervals. Eventually, a consignment found its way to Dundee, Scotland where the flax spinners were anxious to learn whether jute could be processed mechanically.

Success was not immediate and, until the 1860's, only hand woven jute goods found their way into world markets. Starting in the 1830's, however, the Dundee spinners learned how to spin jute yarn by modifying their power-driven flax machinery and, before long, they were producing jute goods in large quantities.

The rise of the jute industry in Dundee saw a corresponding increase in the production and export of raw jute from the Indian sub-continent which was then, as it is now, virtually the sole supplier of this primary commodity.

Cultivation of Jute

Jute is an annual plant of the genus Corchorus, grown entirely for its fiber. It is a rainy season crop, sown from March to May according to rainfall and type of land, and harvested from June to September depending on whether the sowings are early or late. It thrives best in damp heat, and the climatic conditions obtained in West Bengal in India and Bengaldesh. The other Indian States of Bihar, Assam, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh are also ideally suitable for the cultivation of jute.

Mesta, or Kenif, botanically known as Hibiscus Cannabinus, is also grown in these areas as a textile fiber. Mesta is a coarser, more brittle fiber, and is used by the jute mills in admixture with jute to obtain certain desired properties.

Jute plants are ordinarily ready for harvesting about four months after sowing. The plants, from 8 to 12 feet high, are cut with sickles close to the ground, normally after the plants have shed their leaves. The stems are then made up into bundles for steeping.

The jute fiber is in the outer layer of the stem, between the wood on the inside, and the cortex on the outside, surrounded by soft tissues. During retting, these tissues are softened with the results that the fiber can be separated readily in the subsequent process of stripping. The quality of the fiber depends greatly on the care exercised in retting.

When retting is complete, the bundles are taken out of the water and the stripping process ensues. The stripped fiber is then made up into small bundles which are washed in clean running water. The bundles are then dried in the sun for two or three days. When dry, the fiber is tied up in bundles known locally as morahs.

The Manufacture of Jute Products

In jute manufacturing phraseology, the steps involved in the manufacture of the yarns are carried out in the "mill," those of weaving and finishing in the "factory." The word "mill," however, is also commonly used to denote the manufacturing establishment as a whole.

As jute grown in different areas varies in strength, color and fineness, the first step in preparing the fiber is "batching," consisting of blending the various fibers to obtain uniformity in strength and color to give the precise quality of yarn for spinning.

In the first mechanical operation in the mill, the jute is fed into a softener in which the jute, treated with an emulsion oil and water, passes between sets of heavy spiral fluted rollers. This process renders the fiber thoroughly pliant and removes any barky portions adhering to the fiber.

The fibers are then carded in machines, known as breaker cards and finisher cards, which reduce the average length of the fibers by teasing and combing, and deliver them in the form of a long continuous ribbon, 5" or 6" in width, called sliver.

The carded jute is next fed into drawing machines which draw out and attenuate the sliver, parallelize the fibers, and by means of a doubling process, produce a smoother, more even sliver.

The last operation in the preparing department is roving, a process which imparts a slight twist to the sliver and delivers the material on to bobbins in the form of rove, a loose yarn ready for spinning. Other spinning machinery known as sliver spinning, an extra drawing operation is substituted for the roving step. This machine delivers a crimped sliver which can be fed direct to the sliver spinning form.

Spinning frames convert the rove to finished yarn. After spinning, the yarns are wound into the form required - spools for warp yarn and cops for weft yarn - for subsequent processing. Jute yarn is processed much like other textile fibers, the yarn itself being dressed (i.e. sized or starched), before being passed on to the warp beam ready for weaving.

Jute fabrics are of simple construction and are woven on a variety of looms. Woven fabrics are inspected, damped and calendered to produce the desired smoothness of finish.

Burlap is then folded in the desired length, packed in bales by hydraulic press, covered with gunny cloth for protection and stored in godowns (warehouses) to await shipment.


Jute is an eco-friendly, biodegradable annually replenish able cash crop. It is grown mainly in Eastern India & Bangladesh. Four million farmers in India are involved in jute cultivation.

Jute passes through various processes of assorting, softening & drawing for preparing it for spinning into yarn. It is spun into various thicknesses at very high speed in modern spinning frames.

Spun yarn is converted into spools & cops and starched before weaving into fabrics on most modern looms. Various weaving designs and patterns can be developed as required.

Woven fabrics pass through various operations like calendaring, chemical processes for bleaching and dyeing by using jiggers and dryers & eco-friendly chemicals & zero shrinkage treatment to get consistency.

Know About Jute
Jute History
Cultivation of Jute
Manufacture of Jute Prod.
Jute Eco-Frinedly

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