What do you actually know about the production, benefits and functions of jute? In this article I want to tell you more about the natural material, with which we have a lot of Avoid plastic waste can. Jute bag instead of plastic bag - I'll show you why!
Here is another small Table of contents about the article:
Jute comes from India and thrives best in hot, humid climates between 24 ° C to 35 ° C and correspondingly heavy rainfall, or high humidity. Light sandy subsoils, or clayey loams are considered ideal soils. As a final factor, the ideal growing area should be regularly flooded by high water, as the Corchorus tree quickly exhausts the fertility of the soil.
Because of these natural conditions, the Indian subcontinent is particularly suitable for jute production. However, the truth is also that jute production is very labor-intensive and there is cheap labor in India and Bangladesh. Especially in the jute production there are already a lot of traders who focus on fair trade.
Production of jute bags
Jute is actually a name for the bast fiber of the Indian Corchorus tree, and now the term is also used for related plants such as the Chinese Utilon Avicennae. They all have in common that they belong to the linden family. The flats of the Corchorus tree reach up to four meters in length. The jute fibers are obtained from the outer skin of the plant and can be harvested every four months. The stringy fibers are air-dried and roasted before further processing. When dried, the threads have already taken on their characteristic brown hue. In the next step, the fibers are combed and spun.
During combing, the outer shell is removed and the fibers are cut to the same length. Then they are packaged in rolls of fabric several meters long. This fabric can already be bought in this form and if you are creatively inclined, you can thus create your own personal Make jute bag. Alternatively, you can buy a finished product. Most jute bags are produced by machine in large factories in India.
Why jute bag instead of plastic bag?
The jute bag is a real natural product. While the artificial competition becomes a burden for centuries, you can even compost a jute bag. Unlike most plastic bags, jute bags can also be used for heavy weight and sharp objects, which is why they are also used in the postal system and for transporting food. Jute bags are now also available in very fancy designs and beautiful colors, which is why they are a popular fashion and lifestyle product (see also the post Fashion from plastic waste) have become.
The jute bag is a real natural product, the fiber is cheap and grows again and again. Plastics, on the other hand, are non-biodegradable products that take at least 400 years to decompose. The Plastic waste pollutes the environment and also poses a threat to wildlife, especially in the world's oceans. Turtles, for example, mistake jellyfish for plastic bags and eat them. Birds and fish often get entangled in plastic waste and die in agony. Every year, billions of tons of petroleum are used to make billions of plastic bags worldwide that could otherwise be saved for our future needs. Petroleum energy sources are known to be ending, while jute keeps growing back. Therefore, it is a very eco-friendly and sustainable alternative.
Jute bags also have a much longer life. They are stronger and more durable, and also do not lose their luster as quickly as plastic bags do. Jute bags can be used even further, as more and more developers are turning to insulation made from recycled jute materials.
The Advantages of jute bags are thus:
- Very low carbon footprint
- Biodegradable and 100% compostable
- Extremely strong and tear resistant.
- Reusable and therefore environmentally friendly
- Jet bags are hip and trendy
Functions of the jute bag
Jute sacks were traditionally used as a cheap and tear-resistant means of transport. So it may come as little surprise that it was the postal system that ensured the spread of the golden fiber. As a carrier bag for everyday use, it was first in demand on a large scale in the 1970s. As a lifestyle product, the jute bag is currently experiencing something of a renaissance. With funny motifs and individual products, messages can be brought among the people. Unfortunately, a topic such as environmental protection and waste avoidance in particular are all too often addressed with a raised forefinger.
Many people may be put off by this. Therefore, it is worthwhile to set a positive example and create awareness in a casual way with a fashionable and naturally environmentally conscious bag.
Jute bag as protection against cold for plants
If you want to winterize plants, you can also count on the jute. Because the bags, which were made for the transport of heavy goods, can experience a second spring as planting bags, so to speak. The bag is simply filled with nutrient-rich soil, then the plant is inserted. Since the fibers are water-permeable, there is no need to cut a hole in the bag to allow water drainage. For the same reason, however, you should use a tray as a saucer if you want to leave the plant on a terrace and do not want unsightly stains. For optimal protection from the cold, tie the opening of the jute bag to the trunk of the plant.
There are also fun facts about jute bags that will surprise you. Animal keepers raise kangaroo babies in them when their mothers abandon them. The little kangaroos can be carried in the sacks as if they were in a kangaroo pouch, and the fibers are especially good for keeping the animals' body temperature.
An important point to be able to use the jute bag as long as possible is of course a gentle handling. With a jute bag, or also clothing from the golden fiber, the most problematic moment is the wash cycle. Clothing should always be bought a little larger, because the fibers contract noticeably during washing. According to experience, you can count on two dress sizes here.
Of course, you can also wash jute. However, at most at 40°C and preferably in a gentle program, for delicates or wool. Use for it but gladly your self-righteous detergent. A very important point is also that you should definitely dry jute products in the fresh air. The fibers can store moisture very well. For this reason, if the products are stored in a damp state, there is a risk that the rotting process will begin.
Jute for crafts and painting
Best for painting are acrylic paints, because they are good to apply and stick. However, you should definitely put a cardboard between them, otherwise the paint will push through. If you have the problem that the fibers are very fringy, you can use a razor to smooth the surface a bit, so that the paint also adheres nicely. If you are specifically looking for a jute bag for creative design, tightly woven surfaces are ideal. If, on the other hand, one would rather use embroidery for embellishment, a looser weave is advantageous.
Very fine motifs are very difficult to draw due to the fiber structure. Speech bubbles, words or even more expansive motifs, such as a sun or clouds, are ideal. Of course, such individually designed bags are an ideal gift, because it is much more personal than a ready-bought assembly line goods.
In addition to the well-known sacks, there are also numerous other products that come from the fiber of the Corchorus tree. Historically, in the 17th century, it was ropes and even sails that Europeans produced from the Indian fiber. In India itself, it was mostly a raw material for the clothing of the rural population. The sustainable fashion from jute even managed a comeback in the present, but rather as a niche product. In addition to the already mentioned advantages from an ecological point of view, there are definitely practical reasons to try out jute clothing. The properties such as tear resistance, stability and not least the heat-storing ability of the natural material, offer some reasons to just try it once.
More and more stores in trendy neighborhoods of big cities are also discovering that clothing made from natural fibers is much more than a legacy of the hippie movement. Even if you don't live in a lively neighborhood in Vienna or Berlin, you can order just about anything online, from dresses to t-shirts, made with jute fibers.
Jute and jute bags are versatile!
Jute bags are both a fashionable and practical alternative to plastic bags. They are characterized by enormous tensile strength and long durability. In addition, the fiber of the Corchorus tree grows naturally, while plastic is known to pollute our environment for several hundred years. There are no limits to creativity. As a carrier bag, it can be customized and decorated with funny or thoughtful motifs. Jute bags that are no longer used for transport can be used for winter protection for plants, or even as insulation material in ecological house construction. The bags can be individually designed.
In my experience, acrylic paints are particularly suitable for painting. When buying the fabric or the bag, you should already know approximately what you plan to do with it. If the fabric is rather widely woven, you should change the brush for the needle, because it is much better suited for embroidery.
Have you also made your experiences with jute or do you have questions and suggestions? Then I look forward very much to your comment and your visit to my personal blog Jutesack.at.
PS.: In the article Zero Waste Lifestyle you get many more tips for a natural life without much garbage!