House insulation

Thermo Jute - from Ritter Sport chocolate to home insulation

Thermo Jute is a high-performance natural thermal insulation made from jute, which has only been in the portfolio of Thermo Natur in Germany for a few years. Although presented as a strong thermal insulator the material also proves to be a very good sound insulator. What impresses, besides the outstanding qualities of the product, is how it came about. It is a story that unites three things that seem to have nothing in common: cocoa beans, jute and home insulation. And yet someone managed to link them. Because I love stories I delved deeper into the subject and here's what I found.

thermo jute

Ritter Sport chocolate and natural insulation

You don't see any connection between the two? I didn't either until a while ago, but things have changed in the meantime. The manufacturer of Ritter Sport chocolate - the Ritter family from Germany - uses an impressive amount of cocoa. The cocoa beans are brought from the producing countries in jute bags. Because of the food and hygienic transport conditions, the bags are only used once, so a huge quantity of bags is produced. All these sacks were considered waste and were destroyed. Can you imagine the trouble just to get rid of them.

In 2009 the Ritter family became shareholders in Thermo Natur GmbH&Co KG in Nördland, Bavaria. Since Thermo Natur is a company that produces natural insulation for the home, Ritter came up with the idea of testing the insulating properties of jute from sacks. They all hoped to find a use for the bags and not have to destroy them. But the results were far beyond expectations. The resulting product turned out to be the best summer insulator of all the products on the market at the time.

thermo jute

For those who don't know much about it, let's see what jute is

I'm sure people my age remember the jute rugs. At that time the pinnacle in the field was Persian rugs, jute rugs being the "poor relation". That's the jute we're talking about, which we also used to produce. Jute - Corchorus olitorius - is an annual plant that is grown mainly for the fibres that are obtained from the stem. They are used to make twine, ropes, yarn for weaving carpets and sackcloth.

The cultivation of jute goes back a long way, with evidence dating back to ancient Egypt. And it's no wonder because Arab peoples also use jute as a food. The leaves and young fruit are used in cooking as vegetables and the dried leaves are used to make tea or to prepare a special sauce.

Jute is, like hemp, an industrial plant from whose stalk natural fibres are obtained. The stalk, which can reach up to 4 m in height, is processed into silky golden threads over 3 m long with a diameter of 2.5 microns. They are the raw material for making string and rope, sackcloth and jute rugs.

thermo jute

thermo jute
photo source:
But let's come back to Thermo Jute and see how jute bags are transformed into thermal insulation and what are the main advantages of the new product

The sacks are first shredded and then broken down in special fibre processing plants. The resulting fibre mass is then mixed with biopolymers and sodium carbonate in the following proportion:

  • 85-90% jute fibres
  • 8-10% biopolymers - used to bind fibres together
  • 2-5% Sodium carbonate - for fire protection

The way it is made and the materials used make Thermo Jute a natural and healthy product for home insulation. The added biopolymers and sodium carbonate are materials commonly used in the food industry (biopolymers for packaging and sodium carbonate for baking powder), so they are not a health hazard. In addition, the bags from which jute comes have been used to transport food, so they are not a hazard either.

But the greatest quality of Thermo Jute is that it provides very good insulation in summer. Jute mattresses store much more heat than other similar materials and release it after a longer time. Thermo Jute has been tested by the Material Testing Centre in Leipzig which confirmed its outstanding heat retention properties.

thermo jute

How Thermo Jute works as thermal insulation in summer

The highest temperature in a house in summer is just below the roof. On hot days, just under the tiled or tin roof, the temperature can reach 80ºC. Insulation fitted between the rafters stores the heat and releases it after a few hours when the temperature starts to drop.

Thermo Jute has a heat storage capacity of 2350 J/kgK, much higher than other insulation materials. For example, glass wool has a capacity of 840 J/kgK. In this case glass wool insulation will need to be twice as thick as jute to achieve the same insulation performance.

This extraordinary heat storage capacity makes the insulation very effective in winter. The heat in the house is stored in the insulation batt so it doesn't escape through the walls or roof.

thermo jute

thermo jute

Other advantages of Thermo Jute insulation

Very good resistance to mould. Mold susceptibility tests carried out according to European standards by specialized institutions resulted in 0, which represents maximum resistance. This makes the insulation very suitable for insulating wooden houses.

Creates a healthy climate with high humidity regulation capacity. Jute fibres can retain an impressive amount of moisture which they release when the humidity in the air drops very low. That's why the insulation system is suitable for homes where people have breathing problems.

It is a natural product made from materials harmless to humans and animals. The material behaves exactly like a mattress made of natural materials so it does not cause any problems during installation or use. No itching of the skin surface or large amounts of dust when fitting. In houses insulated with Thermo Jute there is no danger of allergies or respiratory problems due to the insulation.

Contains no protein or starch so it's not a product pests want because it doesn't feed them.

Easy to fit, a box cutter, scissors and a stapler are sufficient.

thermo jute

The good news is that this product is now available in Romania. Naturalpaint, a company known for its concern to bring and distribute natural products in the country, has also thought of Thermo Jute this year. So, from now on you will find, next to the wool, hemp and wood fiberand jute insulation.

We were used to stories having a moral. So it is with the story of Thermo Jute. When you are concerned about the sustainable use of resources, about protecting the environment, about recovering waste and in general about what we leave to those who will come after us, you are rewarded and it is even possible to write a success story.


About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.


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  • I have two questions:
    1.How much does 1 sq.m cost and how many sq.m is a thermo-jute mattress? Don't say anything about dimensions!
    2.You can also buy thermo jute in the form of fibre in the bag? Is the biopolymer (actually what do you call biopolymers? Bone cells? Polylactic acid?) that you talk about as warming the fibres of the mattress toxic and secret?
    Thank you.

    • Good evening.
      In the article there is a link to the German manufacturer and to the importer in Romania. Technical data sheets of Thermo Jute 100 and Thermo Jute 100 Plus products you can find here here if here ( website) In the leaflets you can find references to the properties and composition of the products.
      On the website there are several possibilities to contact the importer who will tell you the price depending on the size of the carpet or jute roll.
      All the best!

      • Hello. Thank you for your advice. I am about to start insulating my wooden cottage with thermojute. I have a question: between the levels (ground floor and attic) I have two layers of floor and between them I will put 5 cm thick thermojute mattresses. Is anti-condensation foil also necessary in this case or is this foil only to be used under the ceilings/exterior walls, where its use makes sense? Another question: is thermojute also a good sound insulator. Thank you

        • Hello!
          Anti-condensation sheets allow moisture to escape from the wood (if the wood humidity is higher than recommended) without letting the outside moisture in. This avoids condensation on the wood and the rotting of the wood. Between levels, the use of anti-condensation foil is not mandatory (if the insulation is done correctly with anti-condensation foil at the floor level). But it is a way to ensure that moisture does not reach the insulation.
          According to the manufacturer Thermo Jute also provides good sound insulation.
          All the best!


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