Jute, Jute

By Samone Wheeler

Jute is the fabric of the future. Jute is better known to some of us as burlap or hessian. It is a coarse, woven fabric, typically created from the skin of the jute plant. The jute plant is a tall, thin, stalk-like reed that typically grows in the wet and muggy regions of India and Pakistan.

One of the most notable things about jute is its strength. The fibers of the jute plant are composed of cellulose and lignin. The two give jute its strong and durable feel. Jute is so strong that it’s even used as a wood pulp alternative.

Another great thing about jute is that it is environmentally friendly. The crop requires only rainwater and few fertilizers and pesticides. Not to mention, Jute is completely biodegradable, enriches soil, and has recyclable fibers.

In the spirit of unconventionality, Jute has made its way into high fashion. Italian fashion house, Miu Miu, sashayed burlap shoes, skirts, and dresses down the catwalk, in 2009, as a part of their Spring Summer ready-to-wear collection.

Apart from high fashion, Jute has also become incredibly popular in mainstream fashion, like the always-handy tote bag. In 2007 philanthropist Lauren Bush Lauren used jute totes to launch her FEED initiative, a project that sells burlap bags (and now apparel and accessories) to raise funds to provide meals for those in need. The company has grown to provide more than 87 million meals to individuals around the world.

In short, jute is truly a fabric of the future. It is eco-friendly, inexpensive, and very fashion-forward.

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