Jute is a vegetable fiber that is used to create strong thread that can be woven into a cloth known as hessian, or in North America more commonly burlap.
Jute is popular because it is one of the cheapest plant-based fiber is available, and enjoys worldwide usage; in fact jute is second only to the cotton fiber as the most produced and utilize natural plant fiber. Where Jute differs from cotton however is the fact that it is composed of both cellulose (a plant fiber) and lignin (a wood fiber) making it much more durable though also much less soft. In this regard jute is more like flax or hemp than cotton.
Juts is most commonly used for creating industrial ropes and packaging; though it is also a popular textile material. Typically if jute is being used for creating clothing the fibers are mixed with another fiber, either plant or synthetic, to add softness and stretch to the finished product.