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Four types of woven jute fabrics embedded in soil for periods upto 2.5 months and submerged in water upto 4 months were examined for changes in stress­strain behaviour through narrow strip tensile strength tests. The durability of jute yarns was also assessed by conducting tests with solutions at values of pH ranging from 4.5 to 9.0 at room temperature. The studies reveal that the tensile strength of the different fabrics falls to zero 2.5 months in the biotic environment prevalent in Delhi. However when jute was fully submerged in water for 4 months, the loss was only 35%. On the other hand, a strength loss upto 50% was observed under conditions of different pH, the maximum loss being at pH : 5.2.