Looking at Jute in a new Avatar
Come again! Did you say jute sarees?
Is jute not that muddy brown coloured material that is used for storing rice and other commodities? Is it not the same used as an emergency foot mat during the rainy season? Would you be talking about that fibre that has traditionally been used for making rope and twine used in packing?
The answer my friend is yes.
Historical documents in fact state that the poor villagers of India used to wear clothes made of jute in the 16th century. Simple handlooms and hand spinning wheels were used by the weavers, who used to spin cotton yarns as well.
Jute a considerably popular fibre
Jute has over the years slowly become a fibre that has become as popular as cotton if not replacing it, thanks to availability and a number of other endearing qualities.
- Jute fabrics especially sarees are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the attributes of the abundantly found and cheaply available Jute and the need for a refreshing change. Known for their durability and shine quality and beautifully blended with other natural fibres like Cotton and Silk, Jute Sarees have yielded a wide range of designs and patterns in brilliant colours and innovative prints.
- Giving a fresh look and perspective in seeking a viable substitute for cotton, Jute has also captured the imagination of the market. Jute is a natural vegetable fibre, with a golden and silky lustre that is widely grown and cheaply available and with its wide-ranging possibilities in blends with many other natural and artificial fibres, it has certainly taken the world of fabrics by storm.
- Jute has the ability to be blended with other fibers, both synthetic and natural, and accepts cellulosic dyeclasses such as natural, basic, vat, sulfur, reactive, and pigment dyes. As the demand for natural comfort fibers increases, the demand for jute and other natural fibers that can be blended with cotton will increase.
- Jute has many advantages as a home textile, either replacing cotton or blending with it. It is a strong, durable, color and light-fast fiber. Its UV protection, sound and heat insulation, low thermal conduction and anti-static properties make it a wise choice in home décor. Also, fabrics made of jute fibers are carbon-dioxide neutral and naturally decomposable. These properties are also why jute can be used in high performance technical textiles.
- Jute fiber is 100% bio-degradable and recyclable and thus environmentally friendly. Jute has low pesticide and fertilizer needs. It is the cheapest vegetable fiber procured from the bast or skin of the plant's stem and the second most important vegetable fiber after cotton, in terms of usage, global consumption, production, and availability.
Major jute producing countries
India, China, and Bangladesh are the three major producers in the cultivation or production of jute fiber.
- By improving methods in cultivation India has managed to become the largest producer or cultivator in the world. Its production methods being fairly advanced, India has also managed to be in the top for its quality jute products. Further with the use of jute as packing material by law, India has also become the largest consumer of jute in the world.
- Bangladesh is the second largest producer of jute fiber, having been overtaken by India. The Jat Area, popular for highest quality of jute fiber is located in Bangladesh. Therefore, Bangladesh is able to supply the highest quality of jute fiber in the world. However, Bangladesh falls behind its other competitors in applying recent technological advancements. In terms of world export of jute fiber, Bangladesh's share is more than 70%, which makes Bangladesh the largest exporter of jute fiber in the world.
- China is the third largest in terms of jute cultivation. Due to China's huge population, the Chinese are not emphasizing the cultivation of jute, as it competes with other necessary crops. Due to modern effective agriculture, they have the highest yield of jute fiber in the world.
Take the fresh breeze Unnati Silks range of Jute sarees as an example.
You have brilliant Jute blends using Venkatagiri cotton with a lot of Kalamkari painting using floral and themes from nature adorning it. There are the Jute and Maheshwari Sicos beautifully brought together with geometrical patterns and floral prints in light hues to slightly subdued colours with attractive borders. You have Gicha Tussar Silk and Jute in a sensational combination encouraging exquisite detailing in story- telling scenes from the Epics in organic dyes. And you also have the Banarasi Handloom Tussar Silk with a plain to mildly decorated light coloured fabric body brilliantly contrasted by the borders and pallu. And it does not stop at that. Creativity continues through exploratory experiments with other blends that have been a hit in the market.
Handloom Jute Salwar suits with novel hand-crafted designs, trendy prints, colourful motifs, serve very well for daily casual and outings. Fancy Katan Jute Silk kameez with attractive geometrical prints and unique borders would be a nice option for college, corporate offices and parties. Jute Cotton salwar suits with enchanting appliqué floral embroidery, printed borders and attractive dupattas would be a hit at conferences, family functions or festivals. A range of Kora silks having jute borders are very charming salwar suits for amost any occasion.
Relatively new are the Banarasi Jute Net Dupattas, a special range of the Punjabi dress chunnis, that are bound to captivate. Light transparent design-filled weaves that include the mango booti magic which are novel, unique and in pleasing hues.
Fusion and designer creations that have yielded extraordinary outcomes!
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So the next time you think about gifting your close ones a saree, why not gift a Jute saree? Or for that matter a salwar kameez or a delightful dupatta? See the eyes light up and the sparkle of conjured up images of being in the quality fabric, for women know better and ‘she’ would have already known, that jute sarees are quite the in-thing in fashion.
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