The New Student's Reference Work/Jute
Jute is the fiber taken from the bark of two plants, both of the lime-tree order, with yellow flowers. The larger plant is from five to 14 feet high, and is grown in central and eastern Bengal; the other, slightly smaller, is grown around Calcutta. The fiber is separated from the stem by steeping in water, which takes from two days to three weeks. The best kinds are pale yellow or buff, with a silky luster, easily spun and strong. Jute is used in making ropes, gunny bags, carpets, curtains, table-covers and other fabrics. Jute can be raised and manufactured cheaply, but is not so strong or so lasting as flax. Fabrics made of jute are easily rotted by damp, and cannot be often washed and dried, like linen and cotton, without injuring them; but there is fraudulent mixing of jute with cotton, flax, silk and woolen fabrics. India is the great jute-producing country. The United States yearly import millions of dollars worth of jute and jute-goods. Jute thrives in our gulf states, but production here has not been successful.