Jute Coir : The Ecofriendly Craft

 

 

Jute is called the "Golden Fibre" and it is the second most important fibre after cotton.It's a Ligno-cellulosic fibre which means its partially a textile fibre and partially a wood.Botannically it falls under bast fibre category.Jute and coir crafts are relatively new compared to other traditional craft traditions of India.These fibers are mainly used in the production of utilitarian items, though some decorative items are also made.

India and Bangladesh are the main producers of jute and coir. Indian jute handicrafts are popular the world over. Skilled artificers craft numerous items of daily use from jute fiber. Jute items are gaining popularity because it's the cheapest known natural fiber and is 100 per cent eco-friendly.

 

Since early nineteenth century Bengal has been producing maximum quantity ofJute all over the world. West Bengal is the home of jute handicrafts from India. Craftsmen here create a myriad of utilitarian items made from jute. An elegant range of home décor and furnishings like cushion covers, table covers, tea cozies etc are available in jute fibre. Exquisite and colorful jute floorings are also made from jute. Garments made out of woven jute fiber are gaining popularity. Jute fabrics are decorated with tie and dye, embroidery and block printing. Jute is also used for making baskets, mats and beautiful toys.

The discovery of polythene and nylon in 1970s inflicted a huge loss to the jute planters.But since the notion of ecofriendliness has emerged jute is again in high demand and farmers have begun to earn some money. Madhya Pradesh is also known for Jute items from Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior, which include hanging lamps, baskets, flower vases, purses, table mats and footwear etc.

Jute has got immense importance for packaging purpose. Cerials,vegetables,cement and numerous other things are packaged in the sacks made by jute.

Similarly Coir is also an important material which is not only eco-friendly but also cheap and very useful for innumerable purposes.Coir is obtained from coconut husk. Kerala the 'land of coconuts' is the largest producer of coir and accounts for about 75 per cent of the total coir production from India. It is also known as the wonder fibre.Likewise many other coastal states are involved in the process of coir making meticulously..

A variety of products are made from coir. Floorings, mats, carpets, bags, wall hangings etc are made from coir fiber. Coir foam or rubberized coir is used in making mattresses and cushions. Products made from coir foam have gained popularity because of their softness and durability. The unique feature of this product is that it stays cool in summers and warm in winters.

Kerala is also a famous destination for those who want jewelry made of coir and related accessories.