When a type of rope fibre becomes important

In the last few years, tossa (a variety of jute fibre) has come to the forefront of rope bondage. Jute has always been a strong contender for the elusive title of ‘best type of rope’. Now the right to the label of best rope is being fought between white jute and golden jute.

White Jute (also known as Bangla) and Golden Jute (Tossa) fibres are produced from two plants in the Malvaceae family. Corchorus capsularis is commonly referred to as white jute, and Corchorus olitorius is known as the golden jute used in our Tossa Rope.

What real differences are there between Tossa and Bangla

jute-fibresTossa fibres tend to be slightly darker with either a light reddish or brown (earthen) hue.  The actual colour is effected by the soil - or more specifically - the nutrients available in the soil where the plants were grown. This becomes most evident when you obtain plants of the same variety from different regions or even countries. The distinctive golden look is most common in plants grown in Africa.

Tossa fibres are naturally longer as the Corchorus olitorius grows taller with less ‘branching’. This provides a raw material capable of being woven into stronger rope. The tossa jute variety also tends to be a slightly less dense plant matter, making the fibres fractionally lighter in weight.

Do not interpret that statement to mean that a rope made from tossa jute is lighter than one made from standard or ‘white’ jute. The construction of the rope will ultimately determine it’s weight and strength. Better quality rope always uses more fibres per metre than poorer quality alternatives. This is why jute rope can be brought very cheaply – the amount of fibre used in hardware store options is half what you need if you are tying anything other than garden posts.

Interesting Jute Facts

  • There are actually 40+ varieties (or strains) of jute plant, however, only two are grown commercially.
  • Jute is the second most commonly used vegetable fibre in the world.
  • Jute is 100% biodegradable – one of the reasons we love selling natural fibre ropes.
  • Tossa Jute is more difficult to grow than Bangla (white jute), and is only harvested once a year as apposed to two harvests that are possible with the white jute plant.