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Jute geo-textile & its prospect in Bangladesh

In the prefix of geo-textile, geo means earth and the ‘textile’ means fabric. Geo-textiles are the most versatile and cost-effective ground modification materials. It is a special type of technical textile which is used in foundation, soil, rock, earth, or any other geotechnical engineering material in human made project, structure or system. Their use has expanded rapidly into nearly all areas of civil, geotechnical, environmental, coastal, and hydraulic engineering. Earlier, all the geo-textiles were manufactured by synthetic fiber. But this is harmful for the environment. For the eco-frindly properties, the natural fiber geo-textile getting popularity. jute geo-textile (geo-jute) is one of the most popular natural geo-textile. The popularity of jute geo-textile in the world market is increasing day by day due to its eco-friendly characteristics.  Bangladesh is one of the biggest jute producing country. So Bangladesh has a great chance to earn a lot of money by exporting jute geo-textile. But most of the jute processing industries are exporting raw jute, jute yarn and jute packaging material. The export earning can be increased several times by exporting geo-jute within same raw material with significant value addition.

Geo-textiles in world market:

Geo-textile is one of the most rapidly growing sectors. In comparing with the other technical textiles, the annual growth rate of geo-textiles is very high. During the period 2000-2005 the rate of growth was 4.6% and during2005-2010 the rate is 5.3%.The table given bellow indicates the world consumption of all technical textiles and their annual growth rate. From this table it is clear that the growth rate of Geo-textiles is the highest.

Table:  World Consumption of technical textile, 1995-2010, volume (tons)

Application Area Years Compound Annual Growth Rate%
1995 2000 2005 2010 95-00 00-05 05-10
Argotic 1,173 1,381 1,615 1,958 3.3% 3.2% 3.9%
Buildtech 1,261 1,648 2,033 2,591 5.5% 4.3% 5.0%
Clothtec 1,072 1,238 1,413 1,656 2.9% 2.7% 3.2%
Geotech 196 255 319 413 5.4% 4.6% 5.3%
Hometech 1,864 2,186 2,499 2,853 3.2% 2.7% 2.7%
Indutech 1,846 2,205 2,624 3,257 3.6% 3.5% 4.4%
Medtech 1,228 1,543 1,928 2,380 4.7% 4.6% 4.3%
Mobiltech 2,117 2,479 2,828 3,338 3.2% 2.7% 3.4%
Packtech 2,189 2,552 2,990 3,606 3.1% 3.2% 3.8%
Protech 184 238 279 340 5.3% 3.3% 4.0%
Sporttech 841 989 1,153 1,382 3.3% 3.1% 3.7%
Totals 13,971 16,714 19,683 23,774 3.7% 3.3% 3.8%

Source: David Rigby Associates

Geo-Textiles & the environment

Now a day’s environment and ecological sustainability become one of the prime issues in the modern development strategy. Without positive environmental and ecological sustainability product becomes obsolete. No benefit can be harnessed from this type of technology whatever big achievement it may be.

Geo-textiles are not new technology. But their modern uses have started with the advancement of synthetic and polymeric products and their ever increasing applications in different forms and areas of civil engineering are not very old. At the beginning synthetic geo-textile materials were mostly popular. Synthetic geo-textiles are made of polymers and plastics. Hydro-carbons, petro-chemicals, fossils are the basic raw materials for their production. All green house gases and effects are somehow related with their manufacturing which causes acid rain, deforestation, desertification, depletion in ozone layer and biodiversity, warming of earth, rising of sea water level etc.  During their manufacturing process various plasticizers, fillers, sensitizes, stabilizers, antioxidants etc. are to be compounded for effective product development. These additive materials are more hydrolysable and have got properties from alkaline to acidic in nature. Moreover, non-destructible nature of these synthetic geo-textiles has direct effect on soil, water, air and other biotic and a biotic system. Again these geo-textiles often come in contract with life cycles of animals, fisher, insects, and pest along with various micro organisms and create imbalance in their natural conditions of life leading.

                    clip_image002Synthetic geo bag laid alongside the Cox’sbazar to Teknaf marine drive not successful in all the places to protect that.

On the other hand jute geo-textile is biodegradable and eco-friendly. In the manufacturing process of jute geo-textile no harmful chemical is used.  So it is not harmful for the environment. After a certain period the jute geo-textile meshes with the soil and act as a fertilizer. Some comparative characteristics of jute geo-textiles and synthetics geo-textiles are shown below:
Comparative properties of synthetic & jute geo-textile

SI. No Name of observations Effect on synthetic geo-textile Effect on Jute Geo-textile
1. Biodegradability Non Biodegradable Designed Biodegradable
2. Photo degradability Not Photodegradable Photodegradable
4. Metal content Mercury, lead, cadmium, coper, nickel, cobalt, zinc, Arsenic etc. None
5. Stabilizer \ sensitizer \ filler\ pigment Present Absent
6. Warming effect Soil temperature
increasing 1-20C
No effect
7. Compatible Normally not compatible Compatible
8. Biomass Negative effect Fertilizer effect
9. On burring Toxic gas evolves Only co evolves
10. Effect on water Pollution on leaching No pollution
11. Effect on fish/ microbes/ eggs etc. Harmful Harmless
12. Effect on plant Harmful Helpful
13. Effect on agricultural activity Increase insect growth by increasingsoil temperature No effect
14. Extensibility High extensible Low Extensible
15. Expected design Life Not possible (if possible, creates other problems) Possible
16. Application technology Special technology and costly Simple and indigenous
17. Origin Foreign Local
18. Cost More Less
19. Availability Imported Local and easy

Jute geo-textile:

Using jute as geo-textiles is a recent and emerging technology in geotechnical and bio-engineering fields.  Geo-textiles are not a single commodity. All jute products can be used as geo-textiles. But one of the most important weaknesses of the jute products is their quick biodegradability. But their life span can be extended even up to 20years through different treatments and blending. Thus it is possible to manufacture designed biodegradable jute geo-textile, having specific tenacity, porosity, permeability, transmissibility according to need and location specificity.

  clip_image004fig: jute geo-textile

Advantages of jute geo-textile:

  • Abundant Availability
  • Superior drape ability.
  • Greater Moisture Retention Capacity
  • Lower Costs compared to Synthetic Geo-textiles
  • Ease of Installation
  • Bio-degradable Properties

Jute geo-textile and Bangladesh:

Jute is a lingo-cellulosic, composite natural fiber. It is a seasonal agricultural crop. Widely grow in this part of the world particularly Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Temperate, wet and humid climate of Bangladesh are very conducive to the growth of jute. Jute produced in Bangladesh was once known as the ‘Golden fiber’ accounting for 80% of total world export. In course of time with the advent of synthetic material however, Jute lost that primary position and have to go for diversification. Jute Geo-textile is one of those effects of diversified approaches. Now a days, jute geo-textile is getting popularity in foreign market. The imputers are showing interest to buy jute geo-textile in case of synthetic geo-textile, because of its eco-friendly characteristics and cheap cost. So the demand of jute geo-textile in foreign market is increasing rapidly.  As we are a major jute producing country, so it is a great chance for us to earn a lot of foreign currency by exporting jute geo-textile. There is the Government owned BJMC with 22 or so mills running the bulk of the operational looms and the semi-privately owned BJMA with 12 operating jute mills. Almost all the jute industries are export oriented. But they are exporting raw fibers, jute yarn, and packaging material. Some of jute industries are now exporting jute geo-textile, but it is really a small amount. At present, Latif Bawany Mills under state-owned BJMC exporting 5000 metric tons and Janata Jute Mills Ltd., only jute geo-textile exporting private industry, exporting 2000-2500 metric tons jute geo-textile every year. but this amount is so little in comapred to the demand and opportunity.Global demand is remarkably high and the factories cannot meet the demand. Most of the export oriented jute mills are busy to produce and export jute yarn and packaging material. But by exporting jute geo-textile, they can earn more within using same amount of raw material, labor and capital.

Present scenery of jute and jute product:

All the jute industries in Bangladesh are primarily export oriented. Raw fiber is exported as well as jute manufactured goods. The range of products produced is similar to India but the structure of the industry is different. On the one hand there is the Government owned BJMC- Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation with 22 or so mills, running the bulk of the operational looms and the semi-privately owned BJMA- Bangladesh Jute Mills Association with 12 operating mills. On the other hand there is the BJSA- Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association with over 40 mills which is an association of private sector yarn producers. In Statistical terms the BJMC and the BJMA output all of which are composite fabric mills are here shown together.

  • Bangladesh provides over 90% of the world’s raw jute and allied fiber exports. Raw jute exported each year ranges between 300,000 and about 350,000 tons. India, Pakistan and China between them take about 250,000 tons with India accounting for half.
  • Jute fiber availability in Bangladesh is generally in the range 750,000 to 850,000 tons in recent years. As noted earlier about 300,000 tons is exported and about 45,000 tons is consumed in village consumption, which leaves about 500,000 tons for use in the national mills.
  • The internal consumption of jute goods in Bangladesh is about half the amount per capita compared to that of India.
  • The amount of jute goods consumed internally in Bangladesh is in the range 100,000 tons per year. There has been a slow build up of internal consumption over the years, in 1970 – 30,000 tons, 1980 – 40,000 tons, 1990 – 50,000 tons and in 2000 – 80,000 tons. It would be reasonable to anticipate a little over 120,000 tons by the year 2010.

Bangladesh exports a big amount of jute products in world market. In recent years the quantity of exporting jute goods is higher in comparing with the other countries and it is increasing day by day.

Proposed Strategy for jute geo-textile:

To get back the golden era of jute, Bangladesh must go for diversification. Jute Geo-textile is one of those aspects of diversified approaches. Now a days, jute geo-textile is getting popularity in foreign market. the following steps can be taken to increase the demand and hold the market of jute geotextile.

  • All market economics work on the principle of supply and demand. The objective is to continually enhance demand while simultaneously balancing supply with demand. If supply fails to meet demand the market then the purchaser’s bye alternative reliable sources of supply. In the case of jute geo-textiles there is already a market for erosion control product but supply is falling bellow demand. If this situation is allowable to continue the jute geo-textile market will die.
  • At present the selling market is a technology market governed by price. In other words the product is a low technology product is exported at low price. The demand for the product is created by foreign importers and distributors who can make exceptional profit in selling the product on to the end user. The jute geo-textile manufacturer can make more money by selling more products at a current profit margin.
  • Profit margin may also be increased by adding value to the product. Normally Bangladesh export basic jute geo-textile which is not specially treated. Having invested in developing the superior product, application technology and product promotion, the product can be sold at a higher profit margin then its inferior competition. The jute geo-textile can be improved by treating according to the purpose of use. Unfortunately present available jute geo-textile does not find a market in the commercially developed country. But the market of this product in developed countries is increasing recently.
  • The factories, which are not producing jute-geotextile, they have to encourage to do this by showing the benefits of this product producing.
  • The entire factory produces basic form of jute geo-textile. The factory has to take steps to produce developed type of geo-textile. By doing some chemical treatment, the characteristics of geo-textile can be increased. Then they have to make a market of this product to the foreign countries.
  • The farmers of our countries, who are cultivating jute, have to encourage producing more jute. They have to ensure that they will find a good value of this product.
  • Sometimes, some business men   create artificial crisis of jute fiber for getting more profit. They export jute fiber to the neighboring countries in illegal way. Government should take steps to stop this unwanted situation.


Recently jute geo-textile is getting popularity due to its eco-friendly characteristics. Although Bangladesh is one of the largest jute producing country, but it cannot earn money by exporting jute geo-textile due to lack of technical development. So we should concentrate on this part to increase our foreign currency. Recently Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India for worldwide standardization of jute geo-textiles. If the project complete successfully the demand of jute geo-textile will increase rushly.

The Philippines grow a fiber named ‘’abaca’’. They say it is the best fiber in the world. They are making tea bags, tissue papers, and some nonwoven products. They have some companies who are promoting abaca and marketing this to other countries. We have the jute fiber which is rich in natural properties. But we can not utilize this fiber due to lack of our knowledge and irresponsibility. So we should work to develop the jute geo-textile and marketing it to the other countries. Otherwise jute will lose its market and we will loss the chance of earning a lot of foreign currency.


  • Jute geo-textile and their application, DR A.B.M. ABDULLAH, 2008
  • Bangladesh Jute Research Institute.
  • www. bjri.com
  • www.ijsg.com
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geotechnical_engineering
  • Library of International Jute Study Group (IJSG),Dhaka
  • Prospects of Technical Textiles with emphasis on, Jute Geo-textiles and Nonwovens: Efforts of IJSG by Sudripta Roy and Md. Siddiqur Rahman International Jute Study Group (IJSG), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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