Natural fiber, bast fiber

Jute is an annual plant (herb, shrub ). It belongs to the genus Corchorus, of the two main types of Corchorus capsularis and Corchorus olitorius be used for fiber production. Stem length - and thus the fiber length - is 1.50 to about 3 m. Originally, the jute comes from the countries of the Mediterranean and came from there to Asia, especially India and Pakistan. You always need a moist, tropical climate (optimal temperature 27 to 31 ° C, precipitation > 1500 mm / year). Corchorus olitorius is native to tropical Africa and Asia. The fruits are poisonous.


Jute is especially cultivated in the alluvial soils of the Ganges Delta in the humid tropics. After sowing in the prepared soil, the plants are moved at a size of 15-20 cm and harvested after about four months.

Jute is where there are annual floods, grown without fertilizers and pesticides. However, the fungus Macrophomina phaseolina is a pest that destroyed about 30 % of the crop for modern monocultures. Whose genome was deciphered in 2012 by a team led by Dr. Maqsudul Alam Bangladesh Jute Research Institute, with the hope to develop a plant protection product here.

C. olitorius is the commercial and designated the industry as Tossa jute, C. capsularis than white jute. A number of plants that do not belong to the same class, providing fibers that are very similar to those of jute, for example, kenaf, Roselle. Since the fibers are ultimately to distinguish commercially hardly, they are often to the category " jute and similar fibers " together.

Production of the fibers

After roasting for 20 days, the fibers are thrown by hand, washed in running water and dried. Before spinning, the fibers are usually treated with a petroleum-based oil (so-called Batschen ) to facilitate processing. This method is criticized because of potential health problems. However, this oil is problematic only in technical applications, such as in automobiles as interior door panels, since it is finally washed again in textile applications during the manufacturing process.


The natural fibers jute fibers are completely biodegradable. The Jute has a golden and silky shine, so it is also called " the golden fiber". It is characterized by a high water absorption capacity, a low tensile strength ( 20-25 Rkm ) and a good Verrottbarkeit. Jute fibers have a high tensile strength at low elongation, which caused the quality as an industrial yarn and fabric. They can be good color but are very prone to rot and smell strict.


Jute fibers are recognized for packaging materials ( such as bags ), specialty papers, coarse yarns and carpets used. Jute is one of the " renewable raw materials " and is a major competitor to local natural fibers flax and hemp, for example, in fiber composites.

The leaves of Corchorus olitorius hot in Arabic Malachija or Nalta and eaten as a vegetable. Some of them also be dried and made into a soup. In India, Corchorus olitorius is also grown as a fiber plant, the quality is the Corchorus capsularis but of significantly. As a by-product of jute falls in the extraction of the fiber from the straw of the wooden core in the form of small fragments ( shives ) to. However, high-quality applications for it do not exist.

Economic Importance

The world production of jute was t in 2007 /08 at about 2.7 million. The largest producer was India ( 1.6 million tonnes), followed by Bangladesh ( 0.9 million tonnes ) and other South Asian countries (Myanmar with about 0.04 million tonnes and Nepal with about 0.02 million tonnes). World production fluctuates about 2.3 to 2.8 million tonnes to a cultivated area of ​​1.3 million ha

Jute is in volume after the cotton is the most important natural fiber. Worldwide, 10 to 12 million small farmers and many 100,000 people from their further processing. Due to the increase of the bulk materials and the displacement of synthetic fibers since the 1970s, international trade and the real prices slumped sharply. Only a third of the fibers are exported. The rest is consumed in the main growing economies of India and Bangladesh. Main importing country is now Pakistan. The use of jute as a packaging material for the wholesale industry is required by law in India.

Since the jute quantitatively dominates all natural fibers used in technology, it influences the prices of other natural fibers. In recent years, a plethora of new products with high added value for jute fibers was developed: home textiles, composites, geotextiles, paper, technical textiles, chemical products and fashion items. The increasing demand for jute in particular from India ( for packaging) and China ( among others for composite materials ) along with perennial poor harvests led in December 2009 to the decision of Bangladesh to impose a ban on exports of unprocessed jute. This was only lifted in February 2010 for certain qualities again and partly as a result of the embargo, the price of jute fibers increased by 50 to 100 %.

Cultural History

The use of jute began in Asia, first as a cook vegetables and fiber as a source for their own use. Only in the first half of the 19th century began in the Scottish city of Dundee, in the subsequent period the epithet Juteopolis received, the machine processing of the fiber. Only hereby gained jute as a fiber supplier worldwide economic importance. So the Juteanbau reached already in 1900 a cultivation area of ​​about 1 million ha

The first jute spinning mill on the European continent in 1861 by the industrialist Julius Spiegelberg ( 1833-1897 ) in Vechelde at Braunschweig Founded in 1866, the company produced weekly about 500 to 600 quintals of jute yarn. The operation lasted until 1926.

The slogan jute instead of plastic! became a symbol of the conscious decision of consumers against the throwaway society and for social and environmental responsibility. The jute was introduced in 1978 by GEPA and sold 3 million copies. It is now replaced by cotton bags from organic and Fair Trade.

The Oxford English Dictionary takes ( Walter W. Skeat, following herein ) a relationship with or derivation from Sanskrit जट Jata " (hair ) tress, plait " to, but this derivation in Hobson - Jobson is referred to as " very doubtful ". Similar words with this meaning also exist in other North Indian languages ​​including Bengali, which is the language in the main growing region. The plant is already in Theophrastus mention (EIP 4.8.14 ). Archaeological jute fibers are detected, for example in the Bronze Age Shahr -e Investigated in Iran and Berenike in Egypt.


The recycling code of jute is 61