INDUSTRY SCENARIO, DEMAND SUPPLY & MARKETING STRATEGY
From the 1850s until well into the 20th century, jute was one of the most important materials in the world. Said to be the fabric of a thousand uses, jute was used for everything from clothing to flooring and from deck chairs to explosive fuses! It was the material that covered the pioneers’ wagons on the American West and made the ropes used by the British Navy. World trade relied on it as sacking and it was a vital wartime commodity that was made into tents, guns covers and horse blankets.
A large grass-like plant cultivated in India for centuries, jute was processed in Dundee from the early 19th century. From the 1850s the Scottish jute industry boomed, at its height employing around 50,000 people in Dundee and thousands more in nearby towns such as Forfar and Tayport.
By the end of the 19th century jute production was shifting to Calcutta in India. But even as jute manufacturing in Dundee declined, the City continued to play a vital role in the industry. Scottish managers and engineers went to India to oversee the jute mills there and Indian and East Pakistani textile students came to study at Dundee Technical College. By the 1980s almost all jute manufacturing in Dundee and Tayport had ceased but the industry had changed Dundee forever.
Jute is being cultivated in India for centuries. The landmark in the history of jute industry in India dates back to 1854 when the first jute mill as set up by George Auckland at Rishra in Hoogly district of West Bengal. Jute is predominantly a crop of eastern India. The major jute growing states are West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.
Currently the production of the fibre in India is around 115 lakh bales and about 73 jute mills are operating in the country at present. Besides, there are several small scale industries in the decentralized sector producing handicrafts, decoratives, twines, pulp & paper from jute and allied fibres and particle board from jute stick.
Today, jute can be defined as an eco-friendly natural fibre with versatile application prospects ranging from low value geo-textiles to high value carpet, apparel, composites, decoratives, upholstery furnishings, fancy non-wovens for new products, decorative color boards etc. Jute with its unique versatility, rightfully deserves to be branded as the "fibre for the future".
At ATPL, the jute manufacturing process has been streamlined and customised to efficient and optimal standards. Raw jute required for the production are available in bales of various grade and categories. Various unit process and operations involved in manufacturing diversified jute gods are given below.
As jute grown in different areas varies in strength, color and fineness, the first step in preparing the fibre is "batching", consisting of blending the various fibres to obtain uniformity in strength and color to give the precise quality of yarn for spinning. This involves the opening of various qualities of bales. These are then examined, sorted and mixed to form various batches.
In the first mechanical operation in the mill, the jute is fed into a softener and a jute spreader in which the jute, treated with an emulsion oil and water, passes between sets of spiral fluted rollers. This process renders the fibre thoroughly pliant and removes any barky portions adhering to the fibre. The piled jute is cut in order to remove the roots.
The fibres are then carded in machines,known as breaker cards and finisher cards, which reduces the average length of the fibres by teasing and combing,, and deliver them in the form of a long continuous ribbon, 5" or 6" in width, called sliver.
The carded jute is next fed into drawing machines in three stages through the first, second and third drawing frames which draw out and attenuate the sliver, parallelize the fibres, and by means of a doubling process, produce a smoother, more even sliver. However, in case of sacking weft, the passage through, drawing frame is only done twice i.e, through first and second drawing frames.
The last operation in the preparing department is spinning, a process which imparts a slight twist to the sliver and delivers the material on to bobbins in the form of rove, a loose yarn ready for spinning. The spinning machinery known as sliver spinning, an extra drawing operation delivers a crimped sliver, which can be fed direct to the sliver spinning form. Spinning frames convert the rove to finished yarn.
After spinning, the yarns are wound into the form required - spools for warp yarn and cops for weft yarn - for subsequent processing. Jute yarn is processed much like other textile fibres, the yarn itself being dressed (i.e, sized or starched), before being passed on to the warp beam ready for weaving.
Jute fabrics are of simple construction and are woven on a variety of looms. Woven fabrics are inspected, damped and calendared to produce the desired smoothness of finish.
SEWING / PACKING / FINISHING
The woven cloth is then folded in the desired length, packed in bales by hydraulic press, covered with gunny cloth for protection and stored in godowns (warehouses) to await shipment. Where jute goods are sold in the form of bags, the woven cloth is cut to the required size and then hemmed, sewn and hand stitched. These bags are folded and packed in bales. All such goods are then stored in the finished goods godown and are dispatched as per the delivery schedule.