Home > Information > Hemp or Jute? Which should I choose?
Jute and hemp, while similar in that they are natural fibers with a lot of tooth (grip), are very different to tie and work with. Each has its place and in general terms one is no better than the other. It's a matter of use. As my friend Lochai loves to say, it depends.

Hemp is a long fiber. It is very strong and durable. It is also comparatively heavy, more dense than jute. It becomes softer and softer over time but rarely wears out but may look a little tattered. It's tooth gets better over time. Many people fall in love with the feel and smell. Jute is a short fiber compared to hemp. It is not as dense as hemp and not as strong. By volume, it is about half as strong as hemp.

When new, jute can be scratchy. The ropes are very fuzzy when first wound and the hairs have to be either burnt or sanded off, leaving it a bit coarse. It can also have a very strong smell. Many cheaper jute yarns and ropes are processed with kerosene. Of course, we use a better grade of jute yarn here at deGiotto Rope with no petroleum products, but jute still smells like jute. It tends to wear out quickly. Most riggers who tie regularly expect to replace their jute ropes completely within 6 months to a year. It will either will lose its twist or become so hard and slick that it will hardly hold a knot.

If hemp has jute beat on strength, durability, softness and arguably smell, why would one choose jute over hemp? Two reasons. First, speed. With half the weight in a rope of the same size, jute ropes fly! Through the ties and around the turns, jute corners like a Grand Prix car. Second, shine. In bright lights, like photo flash, jute looks like it is made of polished gold. It has a look and feel like nothing else