india sees an ancient textile, produced in colonial-era mills, as a fabric of the future - highly absorbent
In the darkness of a century
Old Mill, dozens of people working silently, their sweat
The tired back is tight with dark underwear.
Heavy metal machinery makes clicks and clicks, spews out the fiber dust stuck to the steel bar, and captures the dust in the throat of the laboratory.
With long, fuzzy gold threads pulled, combed, rotated, and woven into pieces, rolling down the line like rough, flat noodles, the sound lasted until late at night.
If this is a scene of the industrial revolution, it is because India's jute industry has not changed much in 100.
Since the first world war, many looms began to operate, when the British colonists opened up this huge coal slag --
A mill on the northern tip of Kolkata.
Now India is betting on Jute
An ancient textile whose harvest and production are hardly affected by modern technology.
It could be a structure for the future.
Global efforts are being made to reduce the use of plastics due to environmental reasons, and India is promoting jute.
More famous in the United States is the fiber used in linen.
As materials for reusable shopping bags, household items, clothing, and even diapers and women's sanitary napkins.
Indian officials touted the humble fiber ecology
Extracted from the bark of a tall weed plant, Jute requires less water than cotton, has little pesticide, absorbs more carbon dioxide than most trees, and is completely biodegradable.
India's jute industry has seen huge potential markets in places like California. the first U. S.
The state will ban the use of disposable plastic shopping bags in most stores
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, more than 80 governments have introduced regulations on plastic bags and foam products.
"We hope it will explode --
The world will be aware of all the benefits of jute, "said Lata Bajoria, owner of the world's largest Hukumchand jute plant, which is located on the banks of the Huli River.
Almost all of the world's jute is grown and ground in wet and humid low areas around Kolkata --
In neighboring Bangladesh, the climate is good and the labor force is cheap.
The roots of the fiber here can be traced back more than 2,000 years ago.
In the ancient Sanskrit literature, it was mentioned that it was spun into hemp ropes and simple clothes on the hands of farmers.
In the 19 th century, British colonists developed rough, sturdy textiles as packaging cloth for bulk food.
They built factories on the noisy banks and produced coarse sacks for transporting coffee, cocoa and grain around the world.
In recent decades, as manufacturers around the world have discovered that the plastic and synthetic fiber business manufactured in cheaper, softer packaging has been affected, dozens of factories have closed. About three-
Part of the Indian jute is still in the country and purchased by the government to package the country-
It supplies food for nearly $0. 9 billion a year.
India is very interested in supporting the industry, which employs 400,000 factory workers and supports about 4 million families.
Nevertheless, in the 12 months ended, the production of jute in India decreased by nearly 8% from the previous year to 1.
According to government statistics, 68 million tons.
Many farmers turn to higher-yielding crops, such as rice.
Jute is still the most labor-intensive variety.
Dense products in the modern world, starting from summer harvest.
During the weeks of July and August each year, the jute plants are cut down and soaked in ponds covered with dirt and leaves for up to two weeks to soften and rot.
On a recent morning, a narrow, banana-lined road outside Kolkata, more than a dozen men stood at their waist. Deep in the green
Brown ponds, beat the stems with mallets until they disperse.
They pulled the fibers out of a thick wet bundle, like a linen hair coiled around the woman's back, hanging them in the sun to dry before they were transported by truck to the mill.
"An experienced person can prepare dry fibers of 6 to 7 pounds per hour;
A World Bank researcher wrote in a paper in 1949: "mechanical methods have not yet been designed to compete with cheap labor . "S.
There has been little change in nearly 70 years.
"This is the hardest job in the agricultural sector," said Mohammed raffir Islam, who was in his 30 s and slim and came out of the pond, he had a wet pair of trousers and a bundle of damp fibers in his hand.
He started at four in the morning. m.
By noon, the income of the day is about $4.
In factories, shrinking markets have left owners with little capital to invest in modern production technology.
At the beginning of the 20 th century, some weaving machines in hukumande
Who's giggling, quick-
Moving wooden shuttles can cause hearing loss and occasionally fire
Has been replaced by quieter Chinese. made models.
However, 10,000 workers are still screening raw jute into bags, sorting the best quality fibers, loading them into softened and rolled machines, and passing the unfinished lines through the millall by hand.
Raghavendra Gupta said: "The jute industry is so small and so concentrated, this is not a very global industry, the research and development of technology is very limited, "The chief executive of the Hurley Group, which owns humchang and several other factories.
Hooghly and other companies are already supplying the jute used as a "geotextile --a net-
Just like the material that civil engineers use to stabilize loose soil for road construction.
Industry leaders hope that there is an increasing interest in such consumer goods as jute in India and abroad, which will help stimulate innovation.
Starting in 2015, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has incorporated the jute industry into the push for struggling domestic manufacturing.
Operating at $1-1
Government scientists and the Indian Association for Research in the jute industry are on a million annual budget.
Working in a lab in Kolkata, developing food
A safety bag made entirely of jute for sale in Western countries.
Scientists have been trying to use bacteria to accelerate the extraction of jute and improve the quality of the fibers to obtain softer fabrics.
The researchers said a special digital printing technology developed by the laboratory could allow jute to replace plastics in banners and advertisements.
This year, the association launched
Cost Sanitary Pads made entirely of fluffy, high-water-absorbing jute plant cellulose.
Officials say they have started negotiations with Johnson & Johnson's Indian Department to bring the pad to the mass market.
"Maybe one day, jute will be used in sanitary napkins and diapers all over the world . "S.
Sarma, director of the association.
"All these are the products of the future. ”shashank. Bangladesh @ latimes.
Ben Ghali is a South Asian reporter for The Times.