Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, family Malvaceae.
Jute is one of the cheapest natural fibers, and is second only to cotton in amount produced and variety of uses. Jute fibres are composed primarily of the plant materials, cellulose (major component of plant fibre) and lignin (major components wood fibre). It is thus a ligno-cellulosic fibre that is partially a textile fibre and partially wood. It falls into the bast fibre category (fibre collected from bast or skin of the plant) along with Kenaf, Industrial Hemp, Flax (Linen), Ramie, etc. The industrial term for Jute fibre is Raw Jute.
Jute fibre is often called hessian, jute fabrics are also called hessian cloth, and jute sacks are called gunny bags in some European countries. The fabric made from jute is popularly known as burlap in North America.
After the procurement of jute fibre through the Retting Process, jute is graded (rated) according to its colour, strength, and fibre length. The fibres are off-white to brown, and 1-4 meters (3-12 feet) long. Jute is pressed into bales for shipment to manufacturers. From there, a typical processing sequence may include cutting, carding, drawing, spinning, reeling, plying, and twisting.
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