Jute is a natural fibre obtained from the bark of the jute plant. Jute is mainly grown in south Asia and it was originally called by its Bengali name 'Pat' (Patta in Sanskrit) which means a braid of hair. Jute has been used for centuries for ropes and cordage for sea vessels. By the mid 18th century new technologies emerged and jute fibre was spun into better quality yarn and woven to make jute cloth.

Originally sacking bags and jute handbags were developed and then its application in carpet making and packaging advanced. Jute has little use in the clothing industry. It is used predominantly for the manufacture of traditional products such as hessian cloth, sacks, carpet backing and other floor covering materials. Jute is also used for composites, geotextiles, paper pulp, and decorative materials.

In developing countries, it is consumed mainly in the form of hessian cloth and food grade bags for cereals and sugar, while carpet backing is the main jute product consumed in developed countries.