Jute

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Fibres, Sutures and Surgical Dressings

It consists of phloem fibres from the stem of various species of the Corchorus; C. capsularis Linn, C. olitorius Linn, and other species like C. cunninghamii, C. junodi etc., belonging to family Tiliaceae.


JUTE

 

 

Synonym

 

Gunny.

 

Biological Source

 

It consists of phloem fibres from the stem of various species of the Corchorus; C. capsularis Linn, C. olitorius Linn, and other species like C. cunninghamii, C. junodi etc., belonging to family Tiliaceae.

 

Geographical Source

 

West Bengal and Assam.

 

History

 

Corchorus is a genus with 40–100 species of flowering plants. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. Though various species yield fibre, the chief sources of commercial jute are two Indian species the C. capsularis and C. olitorius. These species are grown in Ganges and Brahmaputra valleys.

 

For past many centuries, Jute has been an integral part of Bengali culture. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, much of the raw jute fibres were exported to the United Kingdom. In ’50s and ’60s (when nylon and polythene were rarely used), Pakistan was the world’s lead jute producer. During those periods it had earned its money through jute of East Pakistan, (now called the Bangladesh). Jute was called the ‘Golden fibre’ of Bangladesh because it brought the major portion of the foreign currency for the country. World’s largest jute trade and jute processing economy was located in Bangladesh. Adamjee Jute Mill in Narayanganj, Bangladesh was world’s largest jute mill with 1,939 looms and 25,000 employees up to 2002. Presently Sonali Aansh is one of the largest jute products manufacturers in Bangladesh.

 

Description

 

They are tall, usually annual herbs, reaching to a height of 2–4 m, unbranched and if branched it has only a few side branches. The leaves are alternate, simple, lanceolate, 5–15 cm long and a finely serrated or lobed margin. The flowers are small (1.5–3 cm in diameter) and yellow, with five petals; the fruit encloses many seeds in the capsule.

 

Preparation

 

Retting is the process for the preparation of bast fibres. This process is done by three methods, that is, microbial (or water), steam, and mechanical process. The microbial or water retting process is the oldest and the popular method employed for the breaking of lignin bond present between parenchyma and sclerenchyma. The breaking of this bond facilitates the easy procurement of skin from its core. Then the material is washed dried to release pectin bond which makes the hard skin to fine thread like fibres. The jute fibres are graded according to its colour, strength and fibre length. The fibres are of white to brown and 1–4 m. long.

 

Microscopy

 

A thin transverse section of the strand when treated with phuloroglucinol and HCl, stains the strands deep red, indicating the presence of lignin. Each strand is a collection of polygonal cells which are surrounded by lumen with various sizes. These strands can be separated by treating it with mixture of potassium chloride and nitric acid.

 

Chemical Constituents

 

Jute fibres are composed primarily of the plant materials cellulose and lignin. Jute is composed of about 50–53% cellulose, nearly 20% of hemicellulose and 10–11% of lignin along with other constituents like moisture not more than 12–13%, fats, wax, and ash contributing to 1% each.

 

Uses

 

It has a large range of use (about 1,000 uses). It is listed as the second most important vegetable fibre after cotton. Jute is used chiefly to make cloth for wrapping bales of raw cotton, in the preparation of sacks and coarse cloth. They are also woven into curtains, chair coverings, carpets, Hessian cloth very fine threads of jute can be made into imitation silk and also in the making of paper. It is even used in the manufacture of tows, padding splints, filtering, and straining medium. Jute is used for the preparation of coarse bags.

 

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