Jute is a vegetable fibre that comes from the Corchorus plant (also know as the golden fibre for its colour). India is the largest producer of Jute in the world. The jute is sewn between March and May each year and is harvested in October whereby the stems (which reach a height of up to 4m) of the plants are cut and then soaked in water to loosen the fibres for extraction, this process is known as retting. After the fibres have been extracted they are sun dried and hung ready to be used for packaging, wrapping, sacks, geotextiles- landfill covering, hessian cloths, pulp. Latest experiments even show that the waste produced in jute mills, known as jute caddy can be used effectively as fuel in power plants.
Estimates by the West Bengal Consultancy Organisation (Webcon) show that jute mills in the state together produce more that 70,000 tonnes of jute caddy annually, this wouls generate 7MW of power. “This would save 45,000 tonnes of coal for power generation,” claimed Asim Mahapatra, managing director of Webcon.
Below are some images by the Japanese artist Naoko Serino who works with Jute fibres to produce delicate and lightweight art.