Jute is a vegetable fibre derived from the bark of a reedlike plant grown mainly in the subtropical areas of Asia, especially India, Bangladesh, and China. It is the second largest plant fibre after cotton and is available in large quantities. The plant requires abundant rainfall, grows best in warm, humid areas, and takes between four and six months to mature, growing to a height of 3-4 metres. The planting season for jute is between March and May and the harvesting is done between June and September.
The mature plant is cut close to ground level and laid on the field for a day or two to allow the leaves to fall off. The most useful part of the plant is the bast fibre. This is separated easily from the plant by a process known as retting, in which the embedded fibre is separated from the stem by immersing the jute plants in water.
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