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Clothing is Made from Plants Including Jute!

We purchase clothing all the time, often without checking to see what the material is made from. There are fabrics we find instantly identifiable while others are not as familiar. Many of our fabrics are made from plant fibers. Those fibers are blended with others for certain characteristics like durability, comfort, and the ease with which they can be dyed for color options. Some fabrics previously not chosen for clothing are being considered for blends especially since new technologies have been able to make them more workable.

Burlap is made from plant fibers like jute or hemp. Burlap is a very coarse fabric, but there have been efforts over the years to use it for making inexpensive clothing with various results. Knitting_wales_slip_stitchJute fiber is used to make Ghillie suits for military camouflage that resembles grasses or brush. While it is still considered uncomfortable on its own, jute can be blended with cotton and other fabrics to make espadrilles, soft sweaters, and cardigans.

Pure hemp has a similar feel to linen. Hemp was used extensively by the United States during World War II to make uniforms because it tends to be strong, insulating, absorbent, and durable. These are excellent qualities for garments that will see hard wear and tear. The fibers can last up to three times longer than cotton fibers. Advances in breeding and treating hemp can create much finer, softer fabrics and it is also able to blend with flax, cotton or silk.

Hemp jewelry is the product of knotting hemp twine called macramé. Hemp jewelry includes bracelets, necklaces, anklets, rings, and even watches. jute jewelleryWhile this isn’t clothing, it is definitely wearable as well as creative.
Consumers are far more likely to use basic burlap material for tablecloths, throw rugs or other applications like decorative tapestries, pillows, or lampshades in homes with a rustic charm.

Linen fabric is made from the flax plant. Clothing made from it is usually comfortable and designed for a generous flowing fit. Flax was first used in the Mediterranean to make string and then finer strands made comfortable tunics to wear when it was warm. It was covered up by wool when it became cold. Linen became considered an undergarment and was hard to dye so it was mainly worn in white. There are many types of clothing made with flax today including skirts, dresses, blouses, shirts, pants, and jackets.

Other natural plant fabrics that can be used for clothing include Cotton and Ramie. Cotton is still the most widely used natural fiber in the global textile industry because it is naturally soft and easy to dye, but Jute production comes in second because of its variety of uses. Ramie is silky in texture and one of the strongest natural fibers, but Hemp is the strongest. All of these plants can be spun into a thread or rope and woven, knit, matted, or bound.

Get curious and read the label next time you go shopping!

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at 11:00 am and is filed under Agricultural Packaging, Arts and Crafts, Burlap, Flood Protection, Nursery Horticulture, Nursery Supplies.

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