Jute is a tropical plant that is widely cultivated in the eastern plains of India. It is a long-stemmed plant and its stalks yield the basic jute fibre. Jute manufacturing follows a simple process. The stems are water soaked to dissolve the tissues surrounding the fibres. These fibres are then sun dried, pressed into bales and spun into the jute yarn. The jute yarn in this raw form is golden brown in colour. It is a silken, lustrous material of high tensile strength. The jute fabric is woven from these yarns.

Historians date the original use of jute fabric to the Biblical times. Descriptions of a plant similar to jute occur in the ancient literatures of Greece, Egypt and Arabia and in certain passages in the Old Testament and the Book of Job. In India, jute cultivation is around 3000 years old. There are scriptural references to a "cloth made of bark" called Patta, used in the areas surrounding Bengal. Jute cultivation in India comes on its own in the latter part of the 18th century when ropes for the maritime industries were spun and exported to Britain.

Most of the Indian jute yarn comes from the species corchorus olitorius and its Chinese variant, corchorus capsularis. Until some years back, Hessian / Burlap Cloth (sacking material) were the primary use of the jute fibre. With the modernisation and advancement of processing and dyeing techniques, jute can be made with a broad range of texture, colour and suppleness. It is used as a fabric for garments, luggage, bags, carpet backing and home furnishings. (It was used in the making of parachutes in the II World War!)

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