The History Of Hessian Sacks

The History Of Hessian Sacks


Before we begin to discuss the history of the hessian sack, we wanted to clear up any confusion people may have. A burlap sack and a hessian sack are the exact same thing!

If you are from mainland Europe or Australia, you will commonly refer to these as hessian sacks. Whereas, if you are across the Atlantic in America or Canada, these will be known as burlaps!

Hessian got the name from the German soldiers fighting in the war and was at the time called ‘Hesse’. During the war, the German soldiers were called hessians, and this soon begin to stick with the material.


What Is Hessian?

Hessian is made from the sisal fibres, which is a strong white fibre from the leaves, or the skin of a jute plant. You can often find these plants in India where the majority of these plants originate from. Here you will find two species of the plant, which are white jute and the tossa jute.


When was jute first used?

Whilst many of us will think of hessian being used for sandbags and that is all, jute has been around for thousands of years, dating back as far as 3000 BC, with some believing it dated back even further. 

Back in 3000 BC, jute was more commonly used for textile purposes and cotton production in the Indian subcontinent. However, this material played a crucial part in the development with Indian society during the effects of European colonialism. When Britain became involved with India, jute began to become a cash crop to aid the fuelling of British colonial efforts.

Going back to the start of this blog where we briefly discussed the reasoning behind the name of the hessians, we are about to explain when it started.

During the American revolutionary war from 1775 to 1783, German uniforms consisted of uncomfortable, itchy hessian fabrics. This is where the name for the material originated from.


Where was Jute grown?

The white jute in Scotland, which had been growing for several years, was quickly taken over by other jute productions in Bengal and other parts of India. With this astonishing profits being created, many Scottish jute producers emigrated over to the British colony to join the jute boom! 

However, during the third quarter of the 20th century, the jute production started to drop off and fade away. This didn’t last long as the jute trade began to make an economic factor in Bengal and other Indian areas at the start of the 21st century.

When the first jute mill opened in 1855 in the area of Rishra, India, five other mills quickly followed suit.

 Hessian Sacks With Potatoes

When were jute bags first used?

We can track jute bags as far back as WW1 when they were used to create trenches and protect the soldiers against enemy fire. Since then, our jute bags are commonly known for the sandbags we use today.

Unfortunately, due to how beneficial jute bags were to the war, a shortage began to develop as farmers were told to save their used bags for the war. This came in to place when it was realised that 65% of the sacks being made were being used for the war.

With the demand for jute bags rising due to the war, many people saw the freight rate rise to over $100 a tonne. This meant that the individual prices for jute bags were higher so many farmers were having to reuse them as much as they could.


Our history of Jute bags 

Whilst jute bags have been around for 100’s of years, they were actually the starting point for us here at LC Packaging in 1923.

We then began to work non-stop to distribute, manufacture, and sell this product.  The reason why we are so invested into these bags is because you will not find a more environmentally friendly or natural packaging elsewhere. These bags may be the future of sustainability. 

100% compostable, soft, breathable, and absorbent! Could you ask for anymore?

These bags can transform many daily lives with their array of different uses for each and every one of you! Whether you are interested commercially or personally, these bags can transform your life and our environment!

Not only do these sacks work well for sandbags or potato sacks, but they are great for creating quirky textiles to your home on cushion and furniture.

Throughout the years, hessian has evolved and grown increasingly popular and will continue to grow in later years. Here at LC packaging, we are dedicated to eco-friendly ways to improve our planet and we believe that this material will continue to do just that!

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