fibre calcutta spinning trade water flax gunny cloth colour yarn
JUTE is a vegetable fibre which, notwithstanding the fact that it has come under the notice of manufacturing communities only within comparatively recent times, has advanced in importance with so rapid strides that it now occupies among vegetable fibres a position, in the manufacturing scale, inferior only to cotton and flax. The term jute appears to have been first used by Dr Roxburgh in 1795, when he sent to the directors of the East India Company a bale of the fibre which he described as " the jute of the natives." Importations of the substance had been made at earlier times under the name of pdt, au East Indian native term by which the fibre continued to be spoken of in England till the early years of the 19th century, when it was supplanted by the name it now hears. This modern name appears to be derived from jhot or Acme (Sanskrit, jhat), the vernacular name by which the substance is known in the Cuttack district, where the East India Company had extensive roperies at the time 1)r Roxburgh first used the term.
The fibre is obtained from two species of Corchorus (nat. ord. Tiliacem), C. capsularis and C. ditorius, the products of both being so essentially alike that neither in commerce nor agriculture is there any distinction made between them. These and various other species of Corchorus are natives of Bengal, where they have been cultivated from very remote times for economic purposes, although there is reason to believe that the cultivation did not originate in the northern parts of India. The two species cultivated for jute fibre are in all respects very similar to each other, except in their fructification and the relatively greater size attained by C. capsularis. The (./. 061107110.
Corthorits capsularis. - Annual ; 5-10 feet; calyx deeply 5-eleft; petals 5; leaves alternate, oblong, acuminate, serrated, two lower serratures terminating in narrow filaments ; pad-alleles short ; flowers whitish-yellow, in clusters opposite the leaves ; capsules globose, truncated, wrinkled, and muricated, 5-celled ; seeds few in each cell, without transverse partitions ; in addition to the 5-partite cells, there are other 5 alternating, smaller and empty.
Carchor us olderfus. - Annual; 5-6 feet; erect ; leaves alternate, ovate-acuminated, serrated, the two lower serratures terminated by a slender filament ; peduncles 1-2 flowered ; calyx 5-sepalled ; petals 5; capsules nearly cylindrical, 10-ribbed, 5-celled, 5-valved; • seeds numerous, with nearly perfect transverse septa ; flowers small, yellow.
Both species are cultivated in India, not only on account of their fibre, but also for the sake of their leaves, which times, if it may be identified, as some suppose, with the mallows (r_1117P) mentioned in Job xxx. 4, " Who cut up mallows by the bushes." It is certain that the Greeks used this plant as a pot-herb ; and by many other nations ,around the shores of the Mediterranean this use of it was, and is still, common. Throughout Bengal the name by which the plants when used as edible vegetables are recognized is nalitd ; when on the other hand they are spoken of as fibre-producers it is generally tinder the name piit. Both species are cultivated, on account of the fibre Bengal, while in the neighbourhood of Calcutta, where, however, the area under cultivation is limited, C. olitorius is principally grown. In 1872, a year which showed an extraordinary development of the cultivation, there were returned 921,000 acres as under jute in Bengal, to which Pubna contributed 122,000, Dinajpur 117,000, and Rangpur 100,000 acres respectively.
Hitherto jute has not been cultivated to any considerable extent in localities other than Bengal. From remote times the Dundee trade report of the 23d March 1881 there are varied, but, considering it is a first attempt, on the the district this is a matter of great importance, as having Indian mills."
A hot moist climate with abundant rainfall and rich alluvial soil appear to be the conditions most favourable the seed throughout northern and eastern Bengal extends plants are thinned out to 6 incises apart, and the ground in quality when the crop is secured in the flower. It is, of the principal drawbacks of the jute fibre.
The fibre is separated from the stalks by the process as may be noted from fig. 1, in which a and b show the capsules of C. capsularis and C. olitorius respectively. Fig. 2 represents a flowering top of C. olitorius. The two plants are thus botanically defined : - of retting practised in the case of flax, hemp, &e. (see FLAX, VOL ix. p. 294). In certain districts of Bengal it is the practice to stack the crop for a few days previous to retting, during which period the leaves drop off the stalks, and otherwise the stalks themselves are thereby brought into a condition for more rapid retting. The general practice, however, is to tie the crop into bundles sufficient for one man to carry, and to place these at once in water for the purpose of ratting. Pools and ponds of stagnant water are preferred for rotting where such are available, but the process is also carried on in the water of running streams. The period necessary for the completion of the rotting process varies much according to the temperature and condition of the water, and may be said to occupy from two or three days up to a mouth. The stalks are examined periodically to test the progress of the rotting operation, and when it is found that the fibres peel off and separate readily from the woody portion of the stalk, the operation is complete, and the bundles are withdrawn. The following is a description of the method generally practised for separating the fibre from the stalks. "The proper point being attained, the native operator, standing up to his middle in water, takes as many of the stalks in his hands as he can grasp, and, removing a small portion of the bark from the ends next to the roots, and grasping them together, he strips off the whole with a little management from end to end without either breaking stern or fibre. Having prepared a certain quantity into this half state, he next proceeds to wash off : this is done by taking a large handful ; swinging it round his head he dashes it repeatedly against the surface of the water, drawing it through towards him so as to wash off the impurities, then with a dexterous throw he fans it out on the surface of the water and carefully picks off all remaining black spots. It is now wrung out so as to remove as much water as possible, and then hung up on lines prepared on the spot to dry in the sun." The separated fibre is then washed, sun-dried, and made up into hanks, and so is ready for the market. In favourable circumstances the produce of cleaned fibre amounts, on an average, to about 6 maunds per beegah (131i cwts. per acre), but official returns from various districts show differences ranging from 5 to 26 or even 30 cwts. per acre. The cost of cultivation also varies much in different localities. According to the official report of Hem Chunder Kerr, it is as much as Rs. 17 per beegah (about £2, 12s. per acre) in Chittagong, and as low as R. 1 (or 3s. per acre) in Manbhum ; but such estimates are obviously of little value, as the cultivation is carried on by the ryots witfrout the aid of hired labour, and forms generally only one among the various cultivated products of the land by which a livelihood is obtained. Jute, however, is certainly one of the most cheaply raised and prepared of all fibres ; and to this fact more than to any special excellency of character it possesses is due its now extensive employment as a manufacturing staple.
The characters by which qualities of jute are judged are principally colour, lustre, softness, strength, length, firmness, uniformity, and cleanness of fibre. The best qualities of jute are of a clear white yellowish colour, with a fine silky lustre, soft and smooth to the touch, and fine, long, and uniform in fibre. As a general rule the root ends are harsher and more woody than the middle and upper portions, but in fine jute this distinction is not so noticeable as in less valuable qualities. In length the fibre varies from 6 to 7 feet, but occasionally it is obtained to a length of 14 feet, and, generally speaking, in proportion to the length of the fibre is its fineness of quality. Inferior qualities of jute are brownish in colour and, especially at the root ends, harsh and woody, with much adhering dark cortical matter and other impurities. The fibre is decidedly inferior to flax and hemp in strength and tenacity ; and, owing to a peculiarity in its microscopic structure, by which the walls of the separate cells composing the fibre vary much in thickness at different points, the single strands of fibre are of unequal strength. Recently prepared fibre is always stronger, more lustrous, softer, and whiter than such as has been stored for some time, - age and exposure rendering it brown in colour and harsh and brittle in quality. Jute, indeed, is much more woody in texture than either flax or hemp, a circumstance which may be easily demonstrated by its behaviour under appropriate reagents ; and to that fact is clue the change in colour and character it undergoes on exposure to the air. The fibre bleaches with facility, up to a certain point, sufficient to enable it to take brilliant and delicate shades of dye colour, but it is with great difficulty brought to a pure white by bleaching. A very striking and remarkable fact, which has much practical interest, is its highly hygroscopic nature. While in a dry position and atmosphere it may not possess more than 10 per cent. of moisture, under damp conditions it will absorb up to 30 per cent. or thereby.
As already stated, its commercial distinction is based on the botanical species of plant from which the fibre is prepared ; but in the Calcutta market a series of commercial staples are recognized based on the districts whence they are drawn, the values of which bear a pretty constant relation to each other. These classes, in the order of quality, are :(1) Uttariyd or northern jute, coming from Rangpur, Goalpara, Bogra, and the districts north of Sirajganj ; - for length, colour, and fineness, this is unequalled ; (2) Deuced or Sirajganj jute, which is valued on account of its softness, bright colour, fineness, and strength, - in the last characteristic it is superior to Uttariy6, jute ; (3) Desi jute comes from Hooghly, Bardwan, Jessore, and the 24 Parganas ; (4) Deora jute is produced in Faridpur and Bakarganj, - it is a strong coarse dark and sooty fibre, used principally for rope-making. The other qualities recognized in Calcutta are - (5) 1irctraingaiji jute from Dacca, a strong soft long fibre, of inferior colour ; (6) Bakrcibadi jute from Dacca, of fine colour and softness ; (7) Bhatial jute from Dacca, very coarse but strong, and very suitable for rope-making ; (8) liurimganja jute from the Mymensing district, a long, strong, and well-coloured staple ; (9) Mirganji, jute, the produce of Rangpur, harsh and woody from over-ripeness of the stalks ; and (10) Jangipuri, jute of Patna, a short, weak, and foxy-coloured fibre of very inferior quality. In the European markets these distinctions are not much remarked, traders' marks and classification being the accepted standards of quality and condition. Moreover, it is only the finer qualities that are exported, the lower class jute being used locally for gunny bags, ropes, &c.
At Calcutta and various other centres the jute received from local traders is sorted, packed, and pressed into bales of 400 lb for shipment to the English and other markets. Woody and hard root ends, which will not press into bales, are cut off and sold separately under the name of " cuttings." "Jute," " cuttings," and " rejections " (the last the name of the low-class fibre) are the three heads under which jute fibre is entered in the trade and import lists of Western countries.
The Jute Trade of Calcutta. - The importation of jute into Europe commenced about the end of the last century, but so recently as that period it was confused with hemp. During the earlier years of the present century the imports slowly increased, but, as Hem Chunder Kerr says, "the shipments were so insignificant that little or no notice was taken of them by the custom house authorites." Since that time a great revolution has taken place. In 1820 the custom house assigned to jute a separate heading, in which year we find the exports amounted to 496 rnaunds (364 cwt.). From that time the growth of the trade has been upon the whole steady and continuous, and marked by extraordinary progress, as will be evident from the following table of exports, which is compiled from official sources : - Excepting a comparatively insignificant fraction, the whole of these exports of raw jute have been consigned to Great Britain, the United States of America being the only other country which bulks at all largely in the returns. Occasional shipments were made to America from 1829 _onwards ; but the quantities were small and very fluctuating till about 1850, up to which year frequently the total imports for a year were under 1000 cwts. From 1850-51 onward a rapidly increasing but still fluctuating demand for raw jute has grown up in the United States, till in 1872-73 the American demand amounted to 307,718 cwts. of jute and 1,158,895 cwts. of cuttings and rejections. An importation of 3072 cwts. was made into France in 1836-37, but there was no steady demand for jute in that country till 1845-46, when 9708 cwts. were taken. Since that time there has been a • varying but upon the whole increasing demand, and in 1872-73 there were imported 137,126 cwts. The only other considerable shipments are to East Indian ports ; but, taken altogether, it may be said that quite nine-tenths of the raw jute which leaves Calcutta is primarily disposed of in the British market.
Jute Manufact are. - Long before jute came to be known and to occupy a prominent place amongst the textile fibres of Europe, it was in extensive use and formed the raw material of a large and important industry throughout the regions of eastern Bengal, in which the plant was cultivated. Among the native Hindu population the spinning and weaving of jute was, and still is, in various districts, the most important domestic industry. The forms into which the material is worked among the Hindu population--for the Mussulmans du not use jute - are cordage, cloth, and paper. The cordage is twisted into all sizes, from the fine thread used for weaving up to strong ropes for the hawsers of native boats and for tying bales. The more important native application of jute is, however, in the manufacture of gunny cloth and gunny bags, used in extraordinary quantity and number throughout the world, for packing and carrying all manner of goods and merchandise, and by and other coarse purposes is thus described : - " Seven sticks ' measure of the piece to be woven, and a sufficient number of twine or thread is wound on them as warp called tend. The warp is taken up and removed to the weaving machine. Two pieces of wood are placed at two ends, which are tied to the ohari and other or roller ; they are made fast to the khoti. The belut or treadle is put into the warp ; next to that is the sarsul ; a thin piece of wood is laid upon the warp, called chupari or regulator. There is no sley used in this, nor is a shuttle necessary ; in the room of the latter a stick covered with thread called singe is thrown into the warp as woof, which is beaten in by a piece of plank called beyno, and as the cloth is woven it is wound up to the roller. Next to this is a piece of wood called khetone, which is used for smoothing and regulating the woof ; a stick is fastened to the warp to keep the woof straight." Gunny cloth is woven of numerous qualities, according to the purpose to which it is'devoted. Some kinds are made close and dense in texture, for carrying such seed as poppy or rape and sugar ; others less close are used for rice, pulses, and seeds of like size, and coarser and opener kinds again kampa, a net-like bag for carrying wood or hay on bullocks ; chat, a strip of stuff for tying bales of cotton or cloth ; Bola, a swirl°.b on which infants are rocked to sleep ; shika, kind of hanging shelf for little earthen pots, &c.; (7) du/inct., a floor cloth ; (8) beera, a small circular stand for wooden plates used particularly in poojahs ; (9) painter's brush and brush for white-washing ; (10) ghunsi, a waist-band worn next to the skin ; (11) gochh-dari, hair-band worn by women ; (12) mukbar, a net bag used as muzzle for cattle ; (13) parchula, false hair worn by players ; • (14) rakhi-bandhan, a slender arm-band worn at the Rakhi-poornima festival; and (15) dhup, small incense sticks burned at poojahs." Raw jute fibre and old gunnies are also largely used throughout the presidency in the manufacture of paper.
The introduction of jute factories on the European industry is still prosecuted in the ancient Hindu manner. The following extracts from official tables will show the extent of this particular branch of industry.
The number of gunny bags imported into Calcutta amounted in 1877-78 to 21,446,000, in 1878-79 to 26,380,000, 'and in 1879-80 to 20,488,000.
The different districts which contributed chiefly to the trade during these three years are the following : - The gunny bags exported from Calcutta in the year 1877-78 numbered 79,384,000 ; in 1878-79, 82,635,000 ; and in 1879-80, 92,284,000.
It will be seen that the exports of bags exceed the quantity sent into Calcutta by no less than 57,938,000 bags in 1877-78, 56,255,000 in 1878-79, and 71,796,000 in 1879-80. This is of course due to the large manufacture in Calcutta and the suburbs.
The import trade of Calcutta in gunny cloth during the three years referred to was in round numbers as follows :-51,000 pieces in 1877-78, 70,000 in 1878-79, and 88,000 in 1879-80.
Out of the total supply, that of power-loom manufacture was 43,000 pieces in 1879-80, as compared with 19,000 pieces in 1878-79. The hand-made pieces amounted to 45,000, as compared with 51,000 in 1S78-79.
The export of gunny cloth by sea was consigned as follows: - Besides the registered supplies mentioned above, the returns show a large quantity of power-loom gunny cloth, amounting to 664,000 pieces, sent up country from Calcutta mills without passing the port commissioners wharves. The gross total of gunny cloth exported from Calcutta was 54,731,000 yds. in 1878-79, and 61,468,000 yds. in 1879-80.
Formerly America was the largest customer for Indian jute manufactures, very large quantities of gunny having been consigned to the United States for packing cotton and other merchandise. That demand has, however, very largely fallen off, and now the Australian colonies and Burmah and the various East Indian ports arc the principal places to which the manufactured articles are sent from Calcutta.
• European Trade and Manufacture. - The occasional parcels of jute which were sent to the European market by the East India Company previous to the year 1830 appear to have been principally used for the making of door mats and similar purposes ; but the whole quantity -was at that date, and, as will be seen by tlie table, p. 801, for several years thereafter, quite insignificant. Some part of these imports found their way to Abingdon in Oxfordshire, a town in which the manufacture of carpets, sacking, and cordage was extensively prosecuted, and to the manufacturers of that town is due the credit of being the first in Great Britain to experiment with the fibre, making it into yarn and cloth. In 1833 a quantity of dyed yarn was sent from Abingdon to Dundee, then an important centre of the heavier flax manufactures, and there it attracted a good deal of attention. Consignments were soon thereafter received direct at Dundee and experimented with, but little or no real progress was made for a considerable time, for jute forms no exception to the general rule that the introduction of new textile fibres is attended with many difficulties before a successful issue is reached. The many unsuccessful attempts to convert it into yarn caused it to be disliked by the manufacturer, and the bad reputation it had acquired as to strength and durability made it no favourite in public estimation. Indeed, so far was prejudice carried against it that some of the manufacturers banished the fibre entirely from their works, fearing it might prove prejudicial to their interests. Among the circumstances which added materially to the rapid development of the jute trade, lying outside its natural growth owing to cheapness and other causes, were the war with Russia in 18M-56, which temporarily cut off the supplies of Russian flax and hemp, and the cotton famine which resulted from the civil war in America in 1861-63. Leaving these circumstances out of account, however, the growth of the jute trade has been remarkable and steady, as will be seen by the following table, embracing a period of fifteen years from 1865 to 1880, during which no such cause as those alluded to above affected the trade.
was designed, required certain modifications to suit it to the weaker jute, was the cause of many annoyances and failures in the early days of the trade.
Batcicing or Softening. - The introduction of this preliminary process constituted the first important step in the practical solution of the difficulties of jute spinning. The process, in a great measure, supplies artificially that in which jute is naturally deficient. The mode of batching originally adopted was to divide the rolls or heads, taken from the bale, into four or five parts, each being about what a hand could grasp. These divisions, called stricks, were doubled up with a slight turn at the centre, and laid out in the floor in double rows, the roots and crop ends of the stricks overlapping each other, in the centre of the batch ; each row when completed received a certain perManufacture. - Iu their general features the spinning and weaving of jute fabrics do not differ essentially as to machinery and processes from those employed in the manufacture of hemp and 'heavy flax goods. Owing, however, to the woody and brittle nature of the fibre, it has to undergo a preliminary treatment peculiar to itself. The pioneers of the jute industry, who did not understand this necessity, or rather who did not know how the woody and brittle character of the fibre could be remedied, were greatly perplexed by the difficulties they had to encounter; the fibre spinning badly into a hard, rough, and hairy yarn owing to the splitting and breaking of the fibre. Thit peculiarity of jute, coupled also with the fact that the machinery on which it was first spun, although quite suitable for the stronger and more elastic fibres for which if centage of whale oil and water, and, according to the ideas of the person superintending, e mixture of ashes or other ingredients, supposed to have a softening tendency. These batches, which generally contained from 4 to 5 tons each, were allowed to lie from twenty-four to forty-eight hours, at the end of which time a slight fermentation caused by the oil and water was induced, and the batch was then considered ready for the preparation process. The hand process has now, however, been superseded by a more speedy and economical appliance. In order to get the fibre into that soft pliant condition so essential to the spinning operation, jute softeners or mangles have been introduced. Of these machines there are various types, but in their general outline and principle they are closely allied to each other. The machine consists of a double row of fluted rollers, generally from twelve to eighteen pairs, the one placed on the top of the other, so that the flutes longitudinally intersect each other. The rollers, when the machine is in motion, have a rippling reciprocating action, by which means the material passing through is rendered soft and pliant. In connexion with this machine, and with the view of dispensing with the more cumbrous and expensive mode of batching already described, an apparatus is'attached, and is so adjusted that the jute on passing through the rollers receives with great precision a proper allowance of oil and water. The quantity of oil used varies from half a gallon to one gallon per 400 lb bale, and the quantity of water, according as the atmosphere is dry or damp, is from 12 to 18 per cent. of the weight of material operated on.
Such qualities of jute as retain rough and hard root ends or "butts" requiie to undergo another preliminary process termed " snipping," by which these " butts " are combed out, and separated from the remainder of the fibre ; these, being torn and split up into the form of tow, may be so used in the subsequent preparing and spinning operations. A good deal of jute is now prepared at Calcutta by the snipping process instead of by cutting, the butts being thereby secured in a more useful and valuable condition.
The material, after being softened, and, if necessary, snipped, is passed on to the assorters, whose duty is to select the different qualities for the special uses.to which they may be applied.
Spinning. - All the subsequent processes through which jute passes are essentially the same as those employed in the corresponding heavy manufactures of flax (see LINEN). As in the case of that fibre, there are two dis tinct processes of preparing yarn, viz., by " line " spinning and by "tow " spinning. If intended for line spinning, the long jute fibre is cut or rather broken into lengths of from 20 to 24 inches. It is then ready for hackling, spreading, drawing, and roving, just as in the parallel case of flax " line " spinning. Similarly in the tow spinning the fibre is first submitted to the breaker card, then the finishing card, after which it passes through the drawing frames and the roving frame, and then, as " rove" or rovings, it is ready for the spinning frame ; but, in the case of some very heavy yarns, the material is spun direct on the roving frame.
The weights of jute yarn are estimated by the spindle ' of 14,400 yards, and the finest kinds spun are about "2 lb yarn," i.e., yarn weighing 2 lb per spindle. The minimum weight commonly found in the market is, howeve.r, 7 lb, from which the yarn lists rise in sizes up to 40 lb, or to very much heavier weights for special purposes. The ruling feature of jute is its cheapness, and the great demand for jute manufactures arises in connexion with rough and cheap fabrics,' such as sacking and bagging, bale covers, hessians for upholstery purposes, &c., tarpaulings, linings, pocketings, and backing for floorcloths, for which purpose it is woven in webs from 6 to 8 yards wide. It takes dye colours readily, which, however, are fugitive, and as dyed yarn it is woven into carpets, rugs, &c.; and woven and printed curtain cloths and tapestries are also made from jute. The fibre, however, is not worthy of being woven into elaborate and somewhat costly fabrics ; and it is not likely that as a tapestry material it will take any permanent plate. Jute also lends itself readily to the sophistication of more expensive fibrous materials, and is said to be employed in the adulteration of woven silks, more especially iu such as are used for cheap ribbons, scarfs, &c. It can also *be prepared to imitate human hair with remarkable closeness, and advantage of this is largely taken in making stage wigs.
Although a few jute factories have sprung up in several localities other than Dundee throughout the United Kingdom, notably in Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Barrow-in-Furness, and also in various parts of the Continent, Dundee is still the headquarters and controlling centre of the jute trade, - even many of the Bengal factories being owned by Dundee merchants. The following table shows the distribution of the trade and the number of persons finding employment in it for the United Kingdom at the respective dates mentioned : - Some of the Dundee factories are of enormous extent, that of Messrs Cox Brothers, for example, covering 22 acres, and giving employment to 5000 persons, while the annual output of jute fabrics measures as much as 15,500 miles. (J. PA.) J ilTERBOGK, JeTERROG, or RTERBOCK, the chief town of the circle Jiiterbogk-Luckenwalde, in the governMent district of Potsdam and province of Brandenburg, Prussia, is situated on the Nutbe, 39 miles south-west of Berlin, with which it is connected by rail. It contains four Protestant churches, of which that of St Nicholas, dating from the close of the 14th century. Jilterbogk carries on weaving and spinning both of flax and wool, and trades in the produce of those manufactures and in cattle. Vines are cultivated in the neighbourhood. Jiiterbogk appears in history as the scene of religious discussions in 1548 and 1575, of a treaty between Brandenburg and Saxony in 1611, and of the victory of the Swedes under Torstenson over the imperial troops under Gallas in 1644. Two miles south-west is the battlefield of Dennewitz, where Billow defeated Ney and Oudinot, September 6, 1813. The population, including the garrison, was 6852 in 1875 ; with the immediately adjacent villages of Damm and Neumarkt it was 8427.