Types and Classification of Jute Fiber | Chemical Composition of Jute Fiber

Last Updated on 18/11/2021

Basic Concept of Jute:
Jute is a major commercial natural fiber of cellulosic origin, vegetable type bast fiber. Jute is the second most widely used fibre, exceeded only by cotton. Jute is considered as one of the most eco-friendly natural fibers in the world. It is one of the oldest fibers used by the man. Jute is cheap and is reasonably strong with low extensibility. This makes jute an important fiber for sacks and packing cloths. Jute fiber is largely used for transporting and storage of products. Due to cheap, strong, durable, non-slip nature, low breaking elongation jute is ideally suitable for racks and bales for packaging purpose. Jute is used extensively in the manufacture of different types of traditional packaging fabrics, manufacturing Hessian, sacking, carpet backing, mats, bags, tarpaulins, ropes and twines. Besides, jute yarn is used to produce various types of decorative jute goods. In this article I will discuss jute fiber types, classification and chemical composition in details.

jute fiber

Types of Jute Fiber:
There are four types of jute fiber produced:

1. White Jute: This type of jute is the most ancient type of jute. Corchorus capsularis is commonly known as white jute. You can tell by the name that this type of jute is brighter in color than the others. However, this type is less durable than many others.

2. Dark Jute or Tossa Jute: Tossa is the most popular type of jute in recent times. It is a brown shade. Tossa jute has long fibers and is used for making gunny sacks and bags. Tosa jute fiber is soft, silky, and stronger than white jute.

3. Mesta Jute: This type of fiber is a combination of white jute and Tossa jute. Mesta jute emerged in India during the year 1947 when India attained its independence.

4. Jute Cuttings: Jute cuttings as the name suggests are the leftover jute. These might seem like a waste at first sight, but they can be very useful for making rudimental textiles. Jute cuttings do not exhibit much of the strength and are rough in texture. Jute cuttings are used to make bags, ropes, paper products and basic textile materials.

Classification of Jute Fiber:
Classification of jute fiber according to the quality (Geographical distribution according to Bangladesh):

  1. Jat
  2. District
  3. Northern

A. Jat:

  • Jat is the finest quality jute with firm
  • It has good color and length
  • It has good luster

This type of jute fibre grows in the district of Mymensingh, Dhaka and Comilla.

B. District:
District jute is close to jat in quality.

  • The fiber is not uniform in textures and strands
  • Its color varies from light ream to dull grey
  • Its length is shorter.

There are two types of District jute. They are-

  1. Hard district
  2. Soft district

i. Hard district:
The hard district jute is better than the soft district. It mainly grows in the district of Faridpur.

ii. Soft district:
This type of jute grows in district of Noakhali, Pabna, Barisal, Jessore, Khulna, Sylhet, Lower Comilla, Chittagong and some part of Dhaka.

C. Northern:

  • Northern jute is of somewhat inferior quality.
  • The fiber is dull-colored fluffy hairy and barky.
  • Generally medium length and weak.

This type of jute grows in District of Rangpur, Dinajpur, Bogra and Rajshahi.

Chemical Composition of Jute Fiber:
The retted jute fibers consist of alphacellulose, hemicellulose and lignin along with some minor constituents. The chemical composition of jute is broadly as follows

  • α-cellulose—59–61%
  • Hemicellulose—22–24%
  • Lignin—12–14%
  • Fats and waxes—1.0–1.4%
  • Nitrogenous matter—1.6–1.9%
  • Ash content—0.5–0.8%
  • Pectin—0.2–0.5%

Presence of hemicellulose in jute fibers makes it hygroscopic, second only to wool. Tossa jute is slightly more hygroscopic than white jute. Jute fiber swells on absorption of water. Lateral (cross-sectional) swelling of jute fiber (about 30% on average) far exceeds its longitudinal swelling (0.4 %).

Microstructure of jute fiber
Fig: Microstructure of jute fiber

Cellulose: Cellulose of jute fiber is highly crystalline and it constitutes the main building materials of its ultimate cells. Degree of polymerization (DP) of jute is reported to be one of the lowest among the vegetable fibers. And according one estimate it is 1150.

Hemicelluloses: Hemicelluloses like Cellulose is a chain molecular substance but is distinguishable from the latter in having a relativity short chain length (DP not more than 150) and being mainly composed of pentsans, hexosans, and uronic acid. It is soluble in 18% aqueous alkali.

Lignin: Lignin is a complex polymer which functions as the structural materials in plants. Structural unit of lignin are aromatic alcohols with a phenyl propane backbone, such-as p-coumaryl alcohol etc. lignin from all sources contains similar types of functional groups such as hydroxyl, methoxy, dioxymethylene, complex etc. which are increase the fiber strength and also reduce the flexibility and extension of the fiber.

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