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What is jute and how are jute bags made?

22nd August, 2019

Jute is a 100% natural material that has been used for centuries to produce high-quality products and we recognise its value going forward as we attempt to help the world develop more eco-friendly products.

Jute is a great material to use for bags, as it has a quality natural feel to it which works well for all manner of printed designs, but just how does jute get turned from a plant to a bag?

What is jute?

Jute material is a natural vegetable fibre which is made from the outer stem and skin of a jute plant. Jute is an incredibly versatile material which also makes up hessian cloth, however, it is most commonly used now for making durable items such as eco-friendly jute bags.

It is one of the most commonly used vegetable fibres after cotton, with a coarser feel and added strength compared to cotton. Jute cloth is mainly produced in South and East Asia, and here at Cotton Bag Co we source our jute from sustainable and ethical jute mills.


Why is jute a good material for bags?

Jute has become extremely popular in recent years as an alternative to plastic bags. Whilst bespoke paper bags are great for shops to give to their customers, jute are more durable and long-lasting, making them ideal for gifting or promotional purposes.

Take a look at some of the reasons that jute makes excellent bag material:

  • Eco-friendly

Jute is bio-degradable and compostable, as well as being recyclable, which makes it the perfect choice for those who are trying to be more conscious of the items they are using.

  • Hard-wearing material

One bonus of jute bags is that they last so long, making them an attractive option for customers who are wanting to get a lot of use out of their reusable bags on a daily basis.

  • Durable

Similarly to being hard-wearing, jute bags are considered to be very durable and can take quite a lot of weight. Jute bags are great for carrying heavier items in as they can have thicker handles and the material is strong. Jute is a great material for shopping bags and will stand up easily against items such as milk.

  • Easily customisable

As jute bags come in a natural colour, they are easy to print on to and customise. They are an ideal material for companies wanting to showcase their brand on a sturdy bag that customers will want to keep on using.


How are jute bags made? 


Step 1: The Jute is harvested  

The jute fibres are extracted by the retting process. This process involves taking the fibres and running them through slow running water and spinning them into steps. After this, the non-fibrous material is stripped from the stable jute.

The crops used to produce jute usually reach maturity in around 6 months. Not only is the crop recyclable it is also efficient in terms of land usage and the harvest time frame.


Step 2: The Jute is prepared for the looms  

After the initial stage, the jute bag manufacturer will start the carding process. This disentangles and cleans the jute fibres, adding to their strength.  After this, the jute is drawn out into the jute yarn. This is then weaved before being put through the looms.

After the looms have worked their magic, we now have the final material that can be manufactured into jute bags.


Step 4: The fabric is cut and formed into jute bags

The next step in the jute bag manufacturing process is to mark out the bag dimensions. These are usually cut by hand to ensure there is a good finish to the jute bag.  After this, each section of the bag is stitched together ready for use or for printing.


Step 5: The jute bags are ready for their printed designs  

There are several different ways that you can get the print onto the jute bag. Screen printing is one of the most cost-effective and maybe the best option for your bag. If you are looking for a more complex pattern print your jute bag design can be printed with litho heat transfer or through digital printing.


To find out more about the bags we have available, or to order bespoke bags for your business, get in touch with us on 01373 825 837.

We hold a large stock of cotton bags in the UK which can be screen printed or for more complex full colour artwork heat transfer printed.

Request a quote or call us on 01373 825 837

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