It had me at hello :)
I must admit it started with looks, that gorgeous neutral colour... The natural feel and incredible versatility...
It became my material of choice for bags quite a while ago. For so many people Jute is now not a fashion thing, especially if we consider the eco-friendly credentials of this wonder fibre. Whether you are wearing black about town or heading to the beach in a white caftan and sandals, jute has to be the best choice you can make.
A bit about the material:
Jute matting is used to prevent flood erosion while natural vegetation becomes established. For this purpose, a natural and biodegradable fiber is essential.
Jute is the second most important vegetable fibre after cotton due to its versatility. For years it was used primarily to make fabric for wrapping bales of raw cotton, and to make sacks and coarse cloth. Its threads are also woven into curtains, chair coverings, carpet area rugs, hessian cloth, and backing for linoleum.
The fibers are used alone or blended with other types of fibre to make twine and rope. Jute butts, the coarse ends of the plants, are used to make inexpensive cloth. Conversely, very fine threads of jute can be separated out and made into imitation silk. As jute fibres are also being used to make pulp and paper, and with increasing concern over forest destruction for the wood pulp used to make most paper, the importance of jute for this purpose may increase. Jute has a long history of use in the sackings, carpets, wrapping fabrics (cotton bale), and construction fabric manufacturing industry.
Jute was used in traditional textile machinery as fibers having cellulose (vegetable fiber content) and lignin (wood fiber content). But, the major breakthrough came when the automobile, pulp and paper, and the furniture and bedding industries started to use jute and its allied fibres with their non-woven and composite technology to manufacture non-wovens, technical textiles, and composites. Therefore, jute has changed its textile fiber outlook and steadily heading towards its newer identity, i.e., wood fiber.
It is used in the manufacture of a number of fabrics, such as hessian cloth, sacking, scrim, carpet backing cloth (CBC), and canvas. Jute packaging is more and more often used as an eco-friendly substitute of plastic.
Among its other many uses it is now become popular in the garment industry for espadrilles, soft jumpers and cardies. And then again in the home for everyday things, floor coverings, high performance technical textiles, geotextiles, composites, and more.
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 fibres are carbon-dioxide neutral and naturally decomposable. These properties are also why jute can be used in high performance technical textiles. (Wikipedia).
Its use in clothes and accessories is a big favourite of mine. Check out the bags page of my shop for great Jute totes, amazing for both men and women who want to live a more sustainable life.