History

For centuries, jute has been an integral part of the culture of East Bengal, in the entire southwest of Bangladesh. Since the seventeenth century the British East India Company started trading in Jute. During the reign of the British Empire Jute was also used in the military. British jute barons grew rich processing jute and selling manufactured products made from jute. Dundee Jute Barons and the British East India Company set up many jute mills in Bengal and by 1895 jute industries in Bengal overtook the Scottish jute trade. Many Scots emigrated to Bengal to set up jute factories. More than a billion jute sandbags were exported from Bengal to the trenches during World War I and also exported to the United States southern region to bag cotton. It was used in the fishing, construction, art and the arms industry. Initially, due to its texture, it could only be processed by hand until it was discovered in Dundee that by treating it with whale oil, it could be treated by machine[4] The industry boomed throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (“jute weaver” was a recognised trade occupation in the 1900 UK census), but this trade had largely ceased by about 1970 due to the emergence of synthetic fibers. In the 21st century jute again rose to be an important crop for export around the world in contrast to synthetic fibre, mainly from Bangladesh.

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