What do you actually know about the production, benefits and functions of jute? In this article, I would like to tell you more about the natural material that we use to make a lot of Avoid plastic waste can. Jute sack 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 a hot and humid climate between 24°C and 35°C with correspondingly heavy rainfall and high humidity. Light sandy substrates or clayey loams are considered ideal soils. A final factor is that the ideal growing area should be regularly flooded, as the Corchorus tree quickly exhausts the fertility of the soil.
Due to these natural conditions, the Indian subcontinent is particularly suitable for jute production. However, it is also true that jute production is very labor-intensive and there is cheap labor in India and Bangladesh. In jute production in particular, there are already many traders who are committed to fair trade.
Production of jute sacks
Jute is actually a term for the bast fiber of the Indian Corchorus tree and the term is now also used for related plants such as the Chinese Utilon Avicennae. What they all have in common is that they belong to the linden family. The flaxes of the Corchorus tree reach a length of up to four meters. The jute fibers are obtained from the outer skin of the plant and can be harvested every four months. The sinewy fibers are air-dried and roasted before further processing. When dried, the fibers have already taken on their characteristic brown hue. In the next step, the fibers are combed and spun.
During combing, the outer sheath is removed and the fibers are cut to the same length. They are then packaged in rolls of fabric several meters long. This fabric can already be bought in this form and if you are creative, you can create your own personalized Make jute bag. Alternatively, you can also buy a finished product. Most jute sacks are produced by machine in large factories in India.
Why jute bags instead of plastic bags?
The jute sack is a genuine natural product. While the artificial competition becomes a burden for centuries, a jute sack can even be composted. Unlike most plastic bags, jute bags can also be used for heavy weights and sharp objects, which is why they are also used in the postal service and for transporting food. Jute bags are now also available in very unusual designs and beautiful colors, which is why they are a popular fashion and lifestyle product (see also the article Fashion made from plastic waste) have become.
The jute sack is a genuine natural product, the fiber is cheap and grows back 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, particularly in the world's oceans. Turtles, for example, confuse jellyfish with plastic bags and eat them. Birds and fish often become entangled in plastic waste and die in agony. Every year, billions of tons of crude oil are used to produce billions of plastic bags worldwide, which could otherwise be saved for our future needs. Petroleum energy sources are known to be finite, while jute keeps growing back. Therefore, it is a very environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative.
Jute bags also have a much longer lifespan. They are stronger and more durable and do not lose their shine as quickly as plastic bags do. Jute bags can even be reused, as more and more property developers are turning to insulating materials made from recycled jute.
The Advantages of jute bags are thus:
- Very low CO2 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 transportation. So it may come as little surprise that it was the postal service that ensured the spread of the golden fiber. As a carrier bag for everyday use, it was first in great demand in the 1970s. As a lifestyle product, the jute bag is currently experiencing something of a renaissance. With fun motifs and individual products, messages can be conveyed to people. Unfortunately, topics such as environmental protection and waste avoidance in particular are all too often addressed with a raised index finger.
This may put many people off. It is therefore worth setting a positive example and creating awareness in a relaxed way with a fashionable and naturally environmentally conscious bag.
Jute sack as cold protection for plants
If you want to winterize plants, you can also count on jute. The sacks, which were made for transporting heavy goods, can be used as planting sacks to give plants a second lease of life. The bag is simply filled with nutrient-rich soil and the plant is then planted. As the fibers are water-permeable, there is no need to cut a hole in the bag to allow water to drain away. For the same reason, however, you should use a tray as a saucer if you want to leave the plant on a patio and don't want any unsightly stains. To achieve optimum protection from the cold, the opening of the jute sack should be tied 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 like in a kangaroo pouch and the fibers are particularly good at keeping the animals' body temperature.
An important point in being able to use the jute bag for as long as possible is, of course, careful handling. The most problematic moment with a jute bag, or clothing made from the golden fiber, is the washing cycle. Clothes should always be bought slightly larger, as the fibers contract noticeably during washing. Experience has shown that you can expect to go up two dress sizes.
Of course, jute can also be washed. However, at 40°C at the most and preferably in a gentle program for delicates or wool. You can use your self-righteous washing-up liquid. Another very important point is that jute products should always be dried in the fresh air. The fibers can store moisture very well. For this reason, there is a risk that the rotting process will begin if the products are stored in a damp state.
Jute for crafts and painting
Acrylic paints are best for painting, as they are easy to apply and stick well. However, you should always put a piece of cardboard in between, otherwise the paint will bleed through. If you have the problem that the fibers are very frayed, you can smooth the surface with a razor so that the paint adheres well. If you are specifically looking for a jute bag for creative design, tightly woven surfaces are ideal. If, on the other hand, you would rather use embroidery for embellishment, a looser weave is an advantage.
Very fine motifs are very difficult to draw due to the fiber structure. Speech bubbles, words or even larger motifs such as a sun or clouds are ideal. Of course, such individually designed bags are an ideal gift, as they are much more personal than a ready-made product from a conveyor belt.
In addition to the well-known sacks, there are also numerous other products made from the fiber of the Corchorus tree. Historically, in the 17th century, Europeans made ropes and even sails from the Indian fiber. In India itself, it was mostly a raw material for the clothing of the rural population. The sustainable fashion made from jute has even made a comeback in the present day, albeit more as a niche product. In addition to the ecological advantages already mentioned, there are practical reasons to give jute clothing a try. The properties such as tear resistance, stability and, last but not least, the heat-retaining ability of this natural material offer a number of reasons to give it a try.
More and more stores in trendy districts 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 district in Vienna or Berlin, you can order pretty much anything online, from dresses to T-shirts, made from jute fibers.
Jute and jute bags are versatile!
Jute bags are both a fashionable and practical alternative to plastic bags. They are characterized by their enormous tear resistance and long durability. In addition, the fiber of the Corchorus tree grows back naturally, whereas plastic is known to pollute our environment for several hundred years. There are no limits to creativity. As a carrier bag, it can be individually designed and decorated with funny or thought-provoking motifs. Jute bags that are no longer used for transportation can be used as winter protection for plants or even as insulating material in ecological house construction. The sacks can be individually designed.
In my experience, acrylic paints are particularly suitable for painting. When buying the fabric or bag, you should already know roughly what you want to do with it. If the fabric is woven rather broadly, you should swap the brush for the needle, as this is much better suited to embroidery.
Have you also had your own experiences with jute or do you have any questions or suggestions? Then I look forward to your comment and your visit to my personal blog Jutesack.at.
PS.: In the article Zero Waste Lifestyle you will get many more tips for a natural life without a lot of waste!