Is Hessian Fabric Flammable?

October 23, 2017

Hessian fabric, also known as crocus, is an ancient type of organic cloth made from the fibres of the jute plant, and used for thousands of years in many cultures throughout the world. It was prized for its breathable and lightweight, yet strong and resilient nature, and it still is today..

Thin wefts of jute were used to create calico fabrics which were very popular during the late 1700s until well into the 1910s. Thicker wefts of jute were made into burlap bags that were once used for general packaging and transport purposes and were extensively used well into the height of the Second World War.

The popularity of the fabric declined somewhat, however, thanks to the introduction of polyethylene, polyurethane and hard plastics, which soon replaced it as the packaging medium of choice. Nowadays, Hessian fabric is slowly experiencing a comeback thanks to a greater awareness of the need for sustainable, Eco-friendly, easily sourced, recyclable and reusable packaging solutions for business and industry at large.

Hessian fabric has a number of advantages to plastic, however like plastic it also has one major drawback – it is flammable. Thankfully, in spite of its flammable nature, Hessian fabric does not release noxious fumes or dangerous gases when burnt. In fact, old, worn down Hessian cloth was actually used historically as torch rags or lamp wicks, thanks in part to its capacity to soak up liquids such as oil efficiently.

A lot of Hessian fabrics made today are thankfully less flammable than they used to be traditionally. Back in the old days, neutral vegetable oils were used to help spin smoother threads out of rough jute, and these oils tended to permeate every weave and weft, eventually soaking into the whole fabric itself, making the entire material flammable.

Today, thanks to the assistance of automated thread spinning machines and looms, this practice now is only rarely employed, although some companies do ‘smooth’ things out by adding a minuscule amount of mineral oil to the threads before weaving. This practice, like the old methods of weaving jute, renders some modern Hessian fabrics just as flammable as older ones.

Thankfully, in spite of that small drawback, Hessian fabric still delivers the following advantages over standard plastic packaging:

  • Reusability – all Hessian bags, whether used for industrial or commercial purposes, can be reused time and again for a variety of different purposes.
  • Breathability – a major bonus for folks who work in the produce industry, Hessian bags allow perishable goods like fruits and vegetables to breath, helping to retain their freshness longer
  • Superior strength – Hessian fibre is pound for pound stronger than plastic and is able to hold twice the amount of weight plastic can before it starts to tear.

If you want to revolutionise the way you experience packaging, whether as an individual wanting to make a difference in reducing plastic bad waste, or as a business that wants to do the right thing for the environment, then switch to using Hessian bags today.

Optimized by