What Is Jute Silk Fabric? (Difference, How to Wash, Tips)

Different fabrics use the same names as other finer and more sophisticated cloths that it is hard to tell what they can be used for. It does tend to be very confusing when you are a beginner trying to navigate this wonderful world.

What is jute silk fabric? Jute silk is made from plants thus it is all-natural. Plus, it is a very versatile material that mimics silk, cotton, and wool among other fabrics. Washing this material should be done according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

To learn more about jute silk and how to care for it, just continue to read our article. It contains much-needed information if you are interested in using this material in your next sewing project. There are many varieties of this fabric which makes it very versatile and great for a wide range of projects.

Is Jute Silk?


No, jute silk is not silk and the material doesn't come from animals. Instead, it comes mainly from the white jute plant which can be grown in different climates. Also, there is a Tossa jute plant which is said to be the better of the two plants for fabric.

Yet, that second plant is harder to cultivate. When it comes to producing this material, jute is the second most plant-based fiber produced on this planet. Right behind cotton.

As you know, silk comes from the silkworm and has a completely different construction. It is soft, luxurious, and has a great feel to it. Normally, jute is made into burlap, hessian, or gunny sack materials.

The two could not be more opposite if they tried. Then the jute plant grows to over 10 feet in height and produces some of the longest natural textile fibers in the world. From there it is woven into different types of fabrics with special processing to make it mimic silk or cotton.

It needs that processing as jute is a rough fiber when woven into cloth.

Difference Between Jute and Silk

To understand the differences between these two materials here is a quick comparison chart that hits the highlights of both fabrics.

Category Jute Silk
Origin the jute plant silkworms
Base cellulose protein
Care easier to care for than silk difficult to care for and usully needs special treatment
Feel rough and harsh for the most part soft and luxurious all the time
Weight usually heavier weight but can be made into a lightweight fabric usually lightweight and rarely seen in a heavy weight format
Look usually gives you a rough, homemade type look makes you look attractive, sophisticated and elegant
Cost inexpensive and affordable not always affordable
Absorbing can be very absorbent normally not absorbent
Years of use approx. 5,0000 years approx. 5,000 years

The biggest difference between these two fabrics will be at their cost. Silk is very expensive to produce while jute can be grown in large quantities and made readily available.

Also, jute is very good for the land as it doesn't need chemicals, fertilizers, or other man made products for it to grow well. Jute also gets tougher duties like handling different cargo while it is possible to make a jacket or coat out of the material its main purpose is for rougher aspects of life.

What is Jute Silk Fabric?


Jute silk is a variation of the original jute fabric but it is processed in such a way that it mimics silk materials. This is good news to those who like the feel of silk but can’t afford the real fabric.

Jute itself is inexpensive to grow which helps bring the cost down and with its long fibers should be easy to manipulate into whatever style of fabric will sell well. Taken from the rough fiber of regular jute, jute silk goes through a long process to be soft and comfortable enough to wear as a coat, jacket, or even shirt.

The weave style is normally loose making it better at breathing than some other fabrics and the material absorbs moisture quite well. Once woven into a fabric, it can be highly resistant to abrasions and stains.

The good part about jute is that you can get fibers from both the inner stem and the outer skin. The brown-colored jute material is considered better than the white even though it may be rougher and not so good to touch.

How is Jute Silk Made?

It is not easy to describe the actual process of making jute silk as manufacturers like to keep trade secrets, secret. In general here are the basic steps that go into processing jute and jute silk:

  • 1. The mature jute plant is normally harvested by hand.
  • 2. Then comes the defoliation stage where the leaves are removed.
  • 3. Next, the plant is put through what is called retting. This process removes the non-fibrous material from the stem and the skin of the jute plant.
  • 4. After retting the fibers are put through a separation process and then combed into long strings to get them ready for the next step in the process.
  • 5. The long strings are then sent to the spinning area where they are spun into yarn.
  • 6. Some of the fibers may be sent to the chemical processing section where they may be dyed, given water resistance ability as well as coat the material with a fire-resistant chemical.
  • 7. Finally, these finished reels of jute fiber are sent out to the different manufacturing plants and woven into either clothing, clothing fabric, or industrial products like gunny or burlap sacks.

Somewhere in that process, the fibers are turned into jute silk and sent out to be made into better clothing products.

Is Jute Silk Soft?


During the chemical stage of the jute silk manufacturing process, chemicals are added to the fibers to turn the jute into a nice soft and comfortable yarn. Obviously, not all jute fibers are treated to this process as burlap sacks, etc., are quite rough when you put your hand on them.

The jute silk that is woven into clothing can be quite soft and good to have next to your skin. Often jute is covered in a second fabric to make it feel better next to your skin. The Indian saree is often made from jute silk or blended jute and that material is made to be nice and soft as well as more colorful.

The thing about jute itself or jute silk is that it is not that popular in the western world. it is more popular in India where it is grown locally and in great numbers. Yet it was the British occupation of India that helped spread the jute fabric to different nations around the world.

If you are an environmentally minded person, then you will be glad to know that jute biodegrades very quickly. That should include all variations of the fabric.

Is Jute Silk Vegan?

If you do not count chemical processes anti-vegan, then yes it is. No animals are used in producing jute or jute silk and no animals are harmed, sheared, or plucked when producing this fabric.

For the most part, jute is produced naturally without chemical fertilizers or other nutrients that may harm the plant. To determine if jute silk or even regular jute is vegan, it may depend a lot on your definition of the term.

The plant needs hot and humid weather conditions to grow well along with lots of rainfall. The plant starts out as a seed and grows to over 10 feet in height. Then when grown in the right environment it needs little care.

That is what would make jute a vegan fabric if one wants to wear it as clothing. But as we said, whether jute is vegan or not is up to your definition of what a vegan-friendly material would consist of.

Jute Silk Fabric Price


The jute fabric that is used for clothing is not that expensive. You may find it for as little as $6 a yard or less. But that is the regular jute fabric and your cost will depend on many factors.

The length of the processing, the number of chemicals and coatings added to the material, the shipping costs and more will all play a large role in how much you will pay.

Then there are the different middlemen who add in their fees as well as the different retailers who want to make a little profit over their costs. The quality of the material will also play a large role in the overall costs with jute silk possibly a little more expensive than regular jute.

Finally, the amount the retailer buys will figure in the total cost but when all is said and done, jute still remains a fairly affordable fabric. Whether you should turn that material into special clothing items is up to you and you could do a lot better than this material.

It is not the cost of the material we say that but the roughness of the fabric may not be the best for anyone to wear.

Where to Buy Jute Silk

If you want to look like a native Eastern Indian, then you can buy jute silk sarees just about anywhere. Many online outlets list this clothing item at reasonable prices and your hardest decision will be to choose which store to make your purchase.

Then if you want to make your own saree or another clothing item, you can check all the regular places like your local fabric stores, the national chains, and even your mall’s department stores.

Depending on if you want to use the material in a craft, you can look at the different craft stores to see if they carry regular jute, burlap, gunny sack, and so on. When that fails, or you do not like the price, you can check Amazon and other by the yard retailers and wholesalers to see if their prices are more to your liking.

You can even check those going out of business stores that never seem to go out of business. Their selection may be even cheaper than online outlets. but then again they may not be.

How to Wash Jute Silk Saree


Sarees are very colorful outfits that really highlight your figure and your facial looks. That makes it important to wash the clothing correctly so you do not lose that look in the washing machine.

The first thing to remember is that jute silk sarees are very delicate and need special handling. That means you need to use cold water and only a couple of drops of mild detergent. This means baby shampoo is a good alternative to laundry soap.

Washing by hand is preferred but you can use the gentle cycle on your washing machine if you do not have the time. when you use your washing machine, wash the saree by itself so it does not get damaged by other fabrics.

Then let the saree air dry. Dryers are not good for this clothing item and letting them dry naturally protects the colors, strength of the fabric. and so on. If you get coffee or tea stains on the material vinegar and water mixed should remove those stains.

Make sure to put the saree on a flat surface before applying the vinegar and water. When those nasty sweat stains appear, use paper towels to dab the stain then wash as normal.

Some Final Words

Jute is an inexpensive fabric that is easier to clean than silk. With the right care, you can have your jute silk clothing last you a long time. Then when they get too old to wear, just let them degrade in your compost pile or the landfill. The kids will be happy not to receive jute hand me downs.

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