The time of sowing, the quantity of seed per acre (about three bushels) and the method of gathering and retting are very similar to those of flax; but, as a rule, it is a hardier plant than flax, does not possess the same pliability, is much coarser and more brittle, and does not require the same amount of attention during the first few weeks of its growth.
The fibre is separated from the stalks by a process of retting similar to that for flax and hemp. In certain districts of Bengal it is the practice to stack the crop for a few days previous to retting in order to allow the leaves to dry and to drop off the stalks.
Any simple operation which improves the colour of the fibre or shortens the operation of retting is worthy of consideration.
The benefits to be derived from the above process, however, cannot be great, for the bundles are usually taken direct to the pools and streams. The period necessary for the completion of the retting process varies according to the temperature and to the properties of the water, and may occupy from two days to a month.
The following description of the retting of jute is taken from Royle's Fibrous Plants of India:- " The proper point being attained, the native operator, standing up to his middle in water, takes as many of the sticks in his hands as he can grasp, and removing a small portion of the bark from the ends next the roots, and grasping them together, he strips off the whole with a little management from end to end, without breaking either stem or fibre.