Jute fabric is a type of coarse and strong material made using rough jute threads. These threads are spun from a strong, soft and lustrous vegetable fiber derived from a plant in the genus Corchorus, the scientific name given to plants that are also the raw materials for hemp or burlap cloth. It is made from the skin of the plant which is what gives it the rough, raw look it is known for. Natural jute fabric is one of the most useful materials in the world after cotton. There is an astonishing range of uses of jute fabric and it is widely utilized in the Indian sub-continent (where it is primarily produced) for a variety of functional and fashion purposes. It is also extremely affordable and is considered a very eco-friendly material.
All types of jute fabric have been produced in India for many centuries. The plants from which it is made are naturally occurring in the fertile areas along the Ganges and consequently, this is where much of jute fabric production is focused. Till today, 85% of the world’s jute production is concentrated in the Ganges Delta. This fabric is therefore a very integral part of Indian culture and is extremely popular as a fashion fabric. Earlier, it was only appreciated for its affordability by the lower classes but nowadays, jute fabric is receiving a lot of attention from high end fashion designers as well. They are starting to appreciate the unique aesthetic beauty of the fabric as well as its immense cultural importance and usefulness as an affordable and eco-friendly fabric. The uses of jute fabric in fashion don’t end here: it is also a favored raw material because the jute industry is considered a cottage or small scale industry in India. Designers with a patriotic bent of mind love to embrace such struggling fabric industries and give them a commercial boost by making them a part of mainstream fashion.
The many unique properties of jute fabric can be attributed to its extensive production process as well its natural characteristics. Many steps are involved before the golden, just-harvested jute fabric roll is transformed into a stylish, printed kurti, tunic or saree.
It is first stripped from the plant, then scrapped to remove the extraneous fibers and treated with chemicals to make it soft and smooth. The pure jute fabric properties such as its strength, coarseness, roughness and thickness make it a great raw material for making sacks, ropes and so on, while the blended jute fabrics (combined with either silk or cotton) are usually used to make garments and accessories for people to wear. Whatever the variety of jute, it has a very distinctive golden sheen which is why it is called the ‘golden fabric’.
There are many types of jute fabric used in the fashion world. Pure, untreated jute is rarely used and if used is typically covered with some other type of cloth to make it more comfortable to the skin. The most popular and affordable variety is cotton jute fabric, which, as the name suggests, combines cotton with jute. The added softness and breeziness of cotton makes jute much more comfortable. This kind of fabric still retains the interesting golden aesthetic of jute but has a softer feel which is why it is used to make all types of stylish and affordable daily wear clothes such as kurtas, kurtis, salwar kameez and kurta pyjamas. Blended jute fabrics are also used to make more formal garments such as sarees and dresses, though these will tend to be a bit more colorful in their look. Too many heavy embellishments would not really suit the home spun, earthy vibe of jute, which is why the most favored technique for decorating this fabric is printing. Printed jute fabric comes with many types of western as well as ethnic motifs and designs done in vibrant colors like red, orange, blue, pink, purple and green. These can be done using the traditional block printing method used in Indian villages, in which wooden blocks engraved with designs are dipped in paint and then pressed on to the fabric, or they can be printed using machines.
Styling Jute Fabric Dresses Trends
Jute fabric has become extremely trendy right now, for several reasons. Not only is it environmentally friendly, it is also an indigenous Indian fabric that has many cultural associations. Wearing jute sarees, tunics, kurtas and shirts is a matter of pride for many youngsters who consider it a quintessential Indian fabric. Designers have also begun to appreciate its unique aesthetic and as a result, there are many beautiful and stylish varieties of jute clothes in the market right now. These are typically preferred for casual wear though the dressier varieties can be worn for special occasions as well. Styling jute fabric is quite easy. It is best to opt for various types of earthy, low-cost Indian jewelrypieces like wooden bangles, dokra earrings, tribal necklaces and terracotta sets.