Jute is a natural fiber popularly known as the golden fiber. It is one of the cheapest and the strongest of all natural fibers and considered as fiber of the future. Jute is second only to cotton in world's production of textile fibers. India, Bangladesh, China and Thailand are the leading producers of Jute. It is also produced in southwest Asia and Brazil.
The jute fiber is also known as Pat, kosta, Nalita, Bimli or Mesta (kenaf).
Kenaf known as Mesta or Ambari (species Hibiscus Cannabinus) is also considered as a variety of Jute. It is cultivated in Indian subcontinent, Thailand, China and Africa. The two main types of jute, white jute (Corchorus Capsularies)and dark jute or tossa (Corchorus Olitorius) are grown in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, south Asian countries and Brazil.
India is the largest producer of jute goods in the world.The cultivation of Jute in India is mainly confined to the eastern region states - West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Orrissa and Uttar Pradesh. Nearly 50 percent of total raw jute production in India alone figures in West Bengal.
In India 4000,000 families are involved in the cultivation of raw jute. There are 76 jute mills in India and nearly 1,37,679(Oct.2001) people are employed in these mills. Several thousand other people are engaged in several jute related diversified goods.More than 90 percent of seeds are produced by the state seed corporation of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Jute, as a natural fibre, has many inherent advantages like lusture, high tensile strength, low extensibility, moderate heat and fire resistance and long staple lengths. It is a biodegradable and Eco-friendly. It has many advantage over synthetics and protect the environment and maintain the ecological balance.
Jute is not only a major textile fibre but also a raw material for non traditional and value added non-textile products. Jute is used extensively in the manufacture of different types of traditional packaging fabrics, manufacturing Hessian, saking, carpet backing, mats, bags, tarpaulins, ropes and twines. Recently jute fibres are used in a wide range of diversified products:
decorative fabrics, chic-saris, salwar kamizes, soft luggage's, footwear, greeting cards, molded door panels and other innumerable useful consumer products. Supported by several technological developments today jute can be used to replace expensive fibres and scare forest materials.