Jute. A fiber-producing plant of the genus Corchoras, which alone furnishes the jute-fiber of commerce. It is an annual, growing from 12 to 14 feet high, the preliminary process employed of macerating from the outer bark being very similar to those adopted in the preparation of flax and hemp (which see). It is mainly cultivated in Bengal, India, whence comes the great mass of jute to Europe and America. Jute likes a moist warm climate, and could be successfully raised in our Southern States, but for the lack of sufficiently cheap labor for separating the fiber. The inner fiber is separated from the outer hull of the stalk by the process of retting, practised in the cases of flax and hemp. The stalks of jute are placed in vats of warm water till the outer hull rots and partially falls to pieces, which action requires from 10 days to a month. The native Hindoo there wades into the water up to his middle and takes as many stalks as he car grasp, and removing a small portion of the outer bark from the ends next to the roots, he strips off the dead hull from end to end, with a little management, without breaking the fiber. Then it is washed off and cleaned by swinging it round his head and dashing it repeatedly against the surface of the water. Next it is dried, the fiber separated and is then ready for shipment to Dundee, Scotland, or the United States, to be spun and woven. The fiber is of fair tenacity, glossy, and capable of so fine division that large quantities of it is used to mix with silk, being especially used for the filling in the manufacture of cheap grades of dress silks. It takes a bright and permanent coloring. The main commercial use, however, of jute has been in the manufacture of coarse cloths, such as gunny bags, sacking, burlaps, sheeting, matting, duck, and also for the back of carpeting in combination with the more expensive fibers of cotton, wool, flax and cocoa-nut. Jute does not endure moisture or exposure to the weather, and hence is not well suited for the manufacture of ropes and cordage. Notwithstanding the fact that jute did not come under the notice of manufacturers until within very recent times (not being known in Europe prior to 1840), it has advanced in importance with such rapid strides that it now occupies among vegetable fibers a position in the manufacturing scale second only to that of cotton and flax. In India since the Crimean war the jute industry has advanced by leaps and bounds, official returns showing in that province that there is now 26 jute mills, working 8101 looms and employing 62,000 hands. In 1891 there was exported 29,800,000 yards to foreign countries. India annually produces about 4,000,000 tons of jute, at the average selling price of $15 per ton. The major portion of the raw fiber is shipped to Dundee, Scotland, which city has for fifty years been the largest seat of jute-manufacture in the world. Dundee ships annually to the United States including bags and jute cloth about 175,000,000 yards. This vast amount is all consumed by the eastern and middle states, the western states drawing their supply direct from India by way of San Francisco. No material is manufactured at less cost per yard than jute. After cost of production, shipment from Calcutta, insurance charges and ocean freight have been added, it is placed upon the American market at an average price of 3 cents per pound, and even at this low rate the profits are large. [See Burlaps, Gunny, Silk]