So there we are. Jute. Not that I don't ever work in other mediums, I do, as you will (hopefully!) see from my listings. I've shown a few examples of my jute creations on this page for your perusal. I hope to have more and different things to offer very soon, and in different colors as well. These things take an immense amount of work, not to mention a few blisters, but it's a labor of love. I hope this encourages you to take a look at my listings and maybe pick up a little something for yourself or a gift.
As I researched more, it became more than just the expense. I didn't like working with synthetic fibers. I try to live a green life and the thought of working in something that generates chemicals in the making, and will never break down in a landfill just rubbed me the wrong way. And things like alpaca wool or cotton were even more expensive.
The I discovered jute. Inexpensive, sustainable, biodegradable, PERFECT! It even has a rustic look that I was looking for, as I didn't want my things to look like everyone else's. I can also make rugged little pillows and mats that don't look like they belong in Grandma's sewing room.
An excellent question, even if I do ask it myself. (Oh, wait, I just did. :-)) I'll answer it. I wanted to give my creative side some exercise and crochet some things. Most of the women in my family have crocheted for years, so it's in my blood. But when I did some research, I found that the market was really saturated, and I really do need to make a little money at this. I considered rugs, then discovered that rug yarn, among others, was hideously expensive.
Jute is a strong natural fiber made from plants of the genus Corchorus. It's the same material used to make burlap cloth. The plant is native to India, and production is centered in Bangladesh, which produces the finest jute in the world. It is second only to cotton in production and uses. However, unlike cotton, jute does not require heavy pesticides or fertilizing. It also flourishes nicely on natural rainfall.
The uses are myriad. It is used for clothing, furniture, ropes and twines, rugs, mats, even paper and imitation silk. It is completely sustainable, growing in only 4-6 months. The inner core of the plant can even replace most of the world's wood needs, greatly reducing reliability on rainforests for wood. It is by far the most environmentally friendly fiber, and is 100% biodegradable, recycleable, and hypoallergenic.