Origin: Jute is extracted from the fibre of jute tree. This fibre is derived after prolonged soaking in water. In 17th to 20th century, the British East India Company delegated the jute industry in India. The year 1880 saw jute industry acquire almost the whole of Dundee and Calcutta. Then, later in 19th century, the jute manufacturing moved to other countries also such as France, America, Italy, Austria, Russia, Belgium and Germany. The first jute mill in India was set up during 20th century by Margaret Donnelly I a mill landowner in Dundee. Five mills were constructed in 1869. By the year 1910, 38 companies were manufacturing around 30,685 looms.
Post-Independence, most of the Jute barons quit India, leaving the setup of jute mills. This setup was taken up by Marwari businessmen.
Present Day: The Indian jute industry provides employment to about 0.26 million workers, supporting the lives of around 4.0 million farm families. Thus, it plays an integral role in the Indian economy.
Three villages of Assam are home to the process of jute manufacturing. These are Khumtai Village, Kathalguri Village, Hathia Khowa Village. Jute industry generates employement for thousands of farmers, artisans and traders who dip their hands in making vast varieties of jute crafts and artefacts.
The wide spectrum of jute products being manufactured include hand knotted bag, rugs, wall hanging, small pouch, table mat, Toran (Door hanging), water bottle hanger, small pot, small toy etc. Jute is cost friendly in comparison to other agro products. However, when it put against synthetic fibres the biodegradable jute is slightly costlier.
Procedure: It begins with plucking out the Jute plant from the wet land forest area. They are then stacked and dipped into water to remove the green coloured top coat from the raw jute straws. The separated raw jute straws are placed diagonally on a slanting area so that the water pours out and evaporates. Once dried they are beaten and converted into loose raw jute fibres that are again dried.
It is then cut into required length and hard ends are again cut further. Post this raw jute fibres are combed to remove the in between knots. This is followed by either dying or braiding various styles.
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