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Archive for the ‘Sandbags’ Category


Stockpile Burlap Sandbags for Hurricane Season


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blog1-1 Hurricane season begins in June and extends through November. Over the next few months, depending on several major climate factors affecting the air and ocean water temperatures, the season can be largely unpredictable. That is why being prepared for flooding is so important.

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Prepare for Flood, Debris, and Erosion with Burlap Matting and Sandbags


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This year has already seen some heavy and sustained storms in many areas causing millions in property damage. It happens annually in cycles that are largely predictable, but sometimes the extent of the potential damage is not. Storm paths can deviate and the strength of storms vary as they travel.

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The History of Jute


Posted in Arts and Crafts, Burlap, Grain and Feed Bags, Industrial Packaging, Jute, Nursery Supplies, Sandbags | No Comments »

The heart of the Jute trade is in Bangladesh and West Bengal, due to its naturally fertile soil. In the mid-1500s to early 1600s, the poor rural people of India handmade their jutjutee clothing, rope, twine, and macramé hangers. Chinese papermakers selected plants like hemp, silk, jute, and cotton for papermaking. Flax and hemp were preferred in the spinning industries in Europe and America until jute was taken to Europe by the Dutch and Fre nch and then on to Britain by the East India Company.

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Sheet Mulching with Burlap


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Sheet mulching is a great way to convert any grassy or weed-riddled area into a rich garden bed by layering compostable material over the area and allowing it to sit for several months.  This mimics nature’s organic cycle of accumulating fallen leaves that decompose over time, untouched, blocking out sunlight to prevent weeds from sprouting. It is also a wonderful landscaping technique.

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Gardening with Burlap


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gardenIf you are a fan of a natural looking garden, take a look at burlap for inspiration to recreate your surroundings outdoors. When you purchase plants, trees and shrubs from stores, their root balls are protected with burlap for a very good reason. The burlap will biodegrade over time so you don’t need to remove it when planting; roots will grow right through it, worms will devour it along with other nutrients in the ground, and eventually it will disappear.

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Inexpensive Erosion Control in Developing Countries


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erosion3Soil erosion is a major concern all over the world. It may be a slow process that continues over time unnoticed, or a faster-paced disaster causing detrimental loss of topsoil. From Afghanistan, India, Nepal to Tibet, technologies preventing, mitigating or stopping soil erosion is a combination of learning to replace indigenous plants, make structural changes, and adopting new agricultural measures.

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Why Do We Still Use Sandbags in Floods?


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sandbag 3The use of sandbags dates back to the Revolutionary War when a Chief Engineer was appointed in the Continental Army in 1775. It was discovered that sandbags being used for temporary military forts were also effective for fighting flood waters. By 1824, money was being set aside by Congress for improved river navigation along with road, railroad, and bridge construction. They began offering assistance for local flood disasters when state and local governments lacked the resources to do it alone. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today has the authority to inspect and strengthen flood control structures like levees and dikes and provide supplies and evacuation assistance.

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Sandbags: Natures Building Blocks


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A simple sandbag is made of burlap or woven polypropylene and fillednyp sandbag 1 with sand or soil, often directly on the intended site, and used for flood control in the construction of levees, berms, dikes, and flood walls. Other structures built with sandbags include barricades for erosion, traffic control, and military fortification. The materials used to make them are abundant and they can prevent both further personal loss and property damage before, during, and after natural disasters.

Properly filled and placed sandbags can divert moving water around communities and structures. Repairs are made to levees and dams and used to train water flows to specific areas.  They are stacked in a brick pattern to form a wall and reinforced with plywood sheeting and plastic tarps.

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Jute is a Natural Product with a Variety of ‘Green’ Uses


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Posted in Agricultural Packaging, Burlap, Flood Protection, Industrial Packaging, Nursery Horticulture, Nursery Supplies, NYP-Corp News, Sandbags | No Comments »

In an age of technology, we sometimes learn that simpler, natural products are better. In the case of Jute, we have not successfully duplicated a synthetic fiber that is as environmentally friendly as the one nature made.

Burlap Bags

Jute is a vegetable fiber that can be woven into a coarse fabric commonly known as burlap. Jute is not the only plant fiber that is used to make burlap. Hemp and Flax fibers work as well.

For many centuries, jute has been used to create packaging materials such as cloth for sacks, rope, yarn, carpet backing, and other woven goods. It is inexpensive to produce and has added insulation, low thermal conductivity, and anti-static features.

The construction industry looked for a replacement because of its tendency to become yellow, brittle, and break down when exposed to sunlight, water, and humidity, but it came at a price.

 

Synthetic Replacements for Jute

Linoleum was the precursor to vinyl flooring, came in rolls, and required a backing when installed just like carpet. It was made of linseed and wood materials, then backed by canvas or burlap fabric. Unlike carpet and wood flooring, it was water resistant and easy to clean. It was even popular on battleships and commercial buildings because of its strength and stability.

Jute_cane
Synthetic materials mostly made out of PVC or plastic have replaced jute in many residential and commercial construction applications because they are even less costly to create and more efficient to use. Over the years, many of these synthetics products have proved to be toxic and environmentally unfriendly. Carpeting, vinyl, and insulating materials now contain rubber, PVC, and recycled petroleum products. These materials are not biodegradable and release chemicals into homes that can cause cancer.

 

Thinking Green

Today, “thinking green” has the building industry suggesting a return to the original, less toxic flooring using plant fibers again. Industrial uses for jute and burlap are being used in ceiling tile (composite insulation), filtration, reinforcement materials and hardboards, carpets, and upholstery. The engineering and automotive industries are using technical textiles for insulation, isolation, and reinforcement. Technical and geotextiles are made of jute, coconut raw material, and other fleece materials made of special fiber types put through specific processing techniques to create flexible, high moisture absorption fabrics.

 

Wood Products

Jute is being considered a possible alternative to wood. Its stem contains a wood-like center core. Taking no more than six months to grow to maturity, it can be harvested faster than trees. It could be used as an alternative source for making paper, rather than cutting down trees for pulp.

Products made of jute like fabrics, residential textiles, composite building materials, geotextiles, pulps, technical textiles, handicraft materials, and fashion accessories are more competitive against oil derivative counterparts than they once were. Features of jute that cause it to slowly fade and break down in the environment are welcome and in some industries, like agriculture and landscaping, precisely why we use it.

Innovative, New Jute and Fiber Products Rediscovered


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Posted in Agricultural Packaging, Burlap, Citrus Produce Bags, Flood Protection, Grain and Feed Bags, Industrial Packaging, Military Sandbags, Nursery Horticulture, Nursery Supplies, NYP-Corp News, Sandbags | No Comments »

 

Quick History

For many centuries, jute has been traditionally used for the manufacturing of woven fabrics, ropes, nets, and yarns in order to package other materials. Hessian fabric, also known as burlap in the US and Canada is made from the skin of jute plants or sisal fibers and other vegetable fibers.burlap

It originated in India for rope and paper production, then the English brought it to Britain and the Scottish made it into yarn. Bangladesh and India are the world’s largest producers of Burlap today with close competition from China, Myanmar, Brazil, and Thailand.

Jute is largely grown in the Ganges delta where climates are warm and humid and there are 2-3 inches of rainfall per week. Two varieties include plants related to hibiscus and cotton. The outer stem of the plant goes through a process called retting where they are soaked and broken down into workable fibers. The fibers are woven into dense fabrics that are strong, flexible, biodegradable, and extensively recycled due to their various uses.

For a long time, the use of jute and other fiber products were declining due to new synthetic technologies, but recently there has been a surge to return to these products for new innovative and environmentally conscious reasons.

Natural Fabrics

Geotextiles and technical textiles are made of jute matting, coconut coir, straw, and wood fiber materials that absorb moisture, maintain flexibility and drain well. This makes them perfect for agricultural, structural, and civil engineering.

Burlap Weaving

Highway Construction

When large quantities of the earth are moved it creates bare slopes and hillsides that easily erode. Temporary protective barriers made with plant fibers are installed to stop erosion while still allowing vegetation to grow for a more permanent solution of grass, plants, trees and rocks.

Environmental Emergencies

When it comes to natural disasters like landslides, floods and fires, sandbags are used to protect against moving soil, water, and extinguishing chemicals, then naturally disintegrate over time. They are inexpensive enough for use in developing countries.

Other Uses

Some other uses of raw fiber like jute are used for composites, insulation, soil layer separation, pond construction, rope to secure trees, camouflage nets, and shading.

Not all geotextiles are made of natural products so be sure to ask when looking for supplies. There are three types:

        • Non-woven for drainage, stabilization, and filtering
        • Woven for road construction, under rip rap, for heavy erosion on embankments and steep slopes
        • Coir for sediment control and bio-engineering in short-term applications.

Whether you are preparing for a major commercial project or doing some landscaping at home, burlap and other jute matting and materials are durable and versatile products that get the job done without harming the environment or requiring removal when you are done. The long history of plant fiber products and their clever and practical uses has been rediscovered.