Where Do Printed Jute Bags Come From?
Printed jute bags are one of the most versatile bags for life out there. They are strong and durable, whatever their purpose. So where do printed jute bags come from?
Jute is a natural material; some know it as burlap or hessian, which is grown in the Bengal region of India. It is one of the most affordable natural fibres, second only to cotton in the volumes produced and variety of uses. Long soft shiny vegetable fibre taken from the skin of the Jute plant can be spun into coarse strong threads which are then woven to make a range of products, primarily cloth for wrapping bales of raw cotton, sacks and coarse cloth. The fibres can also be woven into carpets, rugs, curtains and chair coverings.
Long before printed jute bags were on our radar, jute fibre has been an integral part of Bengal culture. Historical documents, including Ain-e-Akbari by Abdul Fazal in 1590, tell us that the poor villagers of India used simple handlooms to make clothes from jute. It’s also thought the Bengalis made ropes and twines from jute.
It was in the 17th century that the British began trading in jute with the jute barons that were growing rich manufacturing and selling jute products. The British East India Company set up jute mills in Bengal and by 1895 many from the Scottish jute trade emigrated to Bengal to set up jute factories. Jute was used in the construction, art, fishing and arms industry. Did you know that over a million jute sandbags were exported from Bengal to the World War One trenches in France?
Jute is the most environmentally friendly fibre from seed to expired fibre!
Jute can be grown in 4 to 6 months, and because of the huge amount of cellulose it produces in its inner woody core that can meet most of the world’s wood needs, it is a major crop to help protect deforestation by industrialisation. Another great reason to love our printed jute bags!
From jute fibre to fabric
The jute fibres are extracted from the stem of the plant by a process called retting – this involves bundling stems together and immersing them in slow running water.
After retting comes stripping. During the stripping process the non-fibrous matter is scraped off before the workers dig in to grab the fibres from within the stem. This laborious process can only be done by hand.
In the mechanical process the jute is first softened with a mix of emulsion oil and water, passing through rollers to make the fibres pliant. They are then carded; a process to reduce the average length of the fibres by teasing and combing to deliver a long continuous ribbon five or six inches wide, called silver.
The roving process gives a slight twist to the silver and puts the material onto bobbins ready for spinning, which converts the silver to a finished yarn.
Jute yarn is then woven like other textile fibres to create the jute fabric our printed jute bags are cut from.
Eco-friendly printed jute bags
At the Printed Bag Shop we are proud of the fact that our printed jute bags are 100% natural, unbleached and un-dyed. Ethically sourced, manufactured and imported from India in huge quantities, they play a part in minimizing our carbon footprint.
Jute itself is an eco-friendly, biodegradable, replenishable crop. It can be grown without the need for fertilisers and pesticides and absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere. So when it comes to printed jute bags they are the number one choice for the environmentally friendly consumer.
Printed with low-impact water-based inks in our spot colour printing process, we are continuing the eco-friendliness of printed jute bags. With an eye-catching design displaying your logo and message, you can promote your business and give the consumer a bag they will love to use again and again, while broadcasting your part in being responsible for the world we live in.
Talk to the sales team here at The Printed Bag Shop to learn more about how we can help you create attractive printed jute bags for your business.