URLs for Books

Your last ebook:

You dont read ebooks at this site.

Total ebooks on site: about 25000

You can read and download its for free!

Ebooks by authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
Kilgour, P / The Jute Industry: from Seed to Finished Cloth
[Advertisement 1: David Bridge & Co., LTD.]

[Advertisement 2: Chas. Parker, Sons & Co.]

[Advertisement 3: Fairbairn, Lawson Combe Barbour, LTD.]

[Advertisement 4: Robert Hall & Sons]

[Advertisement 5: A. F. Craig & Co., LTD.]

[Advertisement 6: Urquhart, Lindsay & Co., LTD.]

[Advertisement 7: H. Smethurst & Sons, LTD.]

[Advertisement 8: White, Milne & Co.]

[Advertisement 9: Thomas C. Keay, LTD.]

[Advertisement 10: Robert Stiven & Co.]







THE JUTE INDUSTRY




[Advertisement 11: Pitman's Commodities and Industries Series
(Book List)]



PITMAN'S COMMON COMMODITIES AND INDUSTRIES SERIES



THE JUTE INDUSTRY
FROM SEED TO FINISHED CLOTH

BY T. WOODHOUSE

HEAD OF THE WEAVING AND DESIGNING DEPARTMENT, DUNDEE
TECHNICAL COLLEGE AND SCHOOL OF ART

FORMERLY MANAGER MESSRS. WALTON & CO., LINEN MANUFACTURERS,
BLEACHERS AND FINISHERS, KNARESBOROUGH.
AUTHOR OF "THE FINISHING OF JUTE AND LINEN FABRICS,"
"HEALDS AND REEDS FOR WEAVING: SETTS AND PORTERS,"
JOINT AUTHOR OF
"JUTE AND LINEN WEAVING MECHANISM,"
"TEXTILE DESIGN: PURE AND APPLIED,"
"JUTE AND JUTE SPINNING,"
"CORDAGE AND CORDAGE HEMP AND FIBRES,"
"TEXTILE MATHEMATICS,"
"TEXTILE DRAWING," ETC.,

AND

P. KILGOUR

HEAD OF THE SPINNING DEPARTMENT,
DUNDEE TECHNICAL COLLEGE AND SCHOOL OF ART
FORMERLY MANAGER BELFAST ROPE WORKS.
JOINT AUTHOR OF
"JUTE AND JUTE SPINNING,"
"CORDAGE AND CORDAGE HEMP AND FIBRES," ETC.



1921



[Advertisement 12: George Hattersley & Sons, LTD.,]




PREFACE

The sub-title of this little volume indicates that practically
all the processes involved in the cultivation of jute plants,
the extraction of the fibre, and the transformation of the fibre
into useful commodities, have been considered. In addition, every
important branch of this wide industry is liberally illustrated,
and the description, although not severely technical, is
sufficiently so to enable students, or those with no previous
knowledge of the subject, to follow the operations intelligently,
and to become more or less acquainted with the general routine
of jute manufacture. As a matter of fact, the work forms a medium
of study for textile students, and a suitable introduction to the
more detailed literature by the authors on these textile subjects.

T. WOODHOUSE.
P. KILGOUR.

March, 1921.


[Advertisement 13: J. M. Adam & Co.]

CONTENTS

CHAP.
PREFACE
I. INTRODUCTORY
II. CULTIVATION
III. RETTING
IV. ASSORTING AND BALING JUTE FIBRE.
V. MILL OPERATIONS
VI. BATCHING
VII. CARDING
VIII. DRAWING AND DRAWING FRAMES
IX. THE ROVING FRAME
X. SPINNING
XI. TWISTING AND REELING.
XII. WINDING: ROLLS AND COPS
XIII. WARPING, BEAMING AND DRESSING.
XIV. TYING-ON, DRAWING-IN AND WEAVING
XV. FINISHING
INDEX


[Advertisement 14: James F. Low & Co., LTD.]


ILLUSTRATIONS

FIG.
1. NATIVES PLOUGHING THE GROUND
2. BREAKING UP THE SOIL OR "LADDERING"
3. PHOTOMICROGRAPHS OF CROSS-SECTIONS OF A JUTE PLANT
4. NATIVES CARRYING SMALL BALES OF JUTE FIBRE
FROM BOAT TO PRESS-HOUSE
5. NATIVES BAILING JUTE FIBRE IN A
WATSON-FAWCETT CYCLONE PRESS
6. VESSEL LADEN WITH JUTE AT QUAY-SIDE
ADJOINING JUTE SEEDS IN DUNDEE HARBOUR
7. HARBOUR PORTERS REMOVING BALES OF JUTE
FROM VESSEL SHOWN IN FIG. 6
8. BALE OPENER (MESSRS. URQUHART, LINDSAY & CO., LTD.)
9. BALE OPENER (MESSRS. CHARLES PARKER, SONS & CO., LTD)
10. HAND-BATCHING DEPARTMENT WITH UNPREPARED
AND PREPARED FIBRE
11. SOFTENING MACHINE WITHOUT BATCHING APPARATUS
12. BATCHING APPARATUS
13. SOFTENING MACHINE WITH BATCHING APPARATUS
14. MODERN BREAKER CARD
15. FINISHER CARD WITH DRAWING HEAD
16. WASTE TEAZER
17. PUSH-BAR DRAWING FRAME
18. ROVING FRAME
19. FAIRBAIRN'S ROVING FRAME IN WORK
20. AN INDIAN SPINNING FLAT
21. A LINE OF SPINNING FRAMES
22. BOBBIN WINDING MACHINE (FROM HANKS)
23. ROLL WINDER FOR LARGE ROLLS
24. ROLL WINDING MACHINE (FROM HANKS)
25. COP WINDING MACHINE (MESSRS. DOUGLAS FRASER & SONS, LTD.)
26. COP WINDING MACHINE (MESSRS URQUHART, LINDSAY & CO., LTD.)
27. A ROW OF MODERN WARPING MILLS.
28. POWER CHAIN OR WARP LINKING MACHINE
29. WINDING-ON OR DRY BEAMING MACHINE
30. A MODERN YARN--DRESSING MACHINE WITH SIX STEAM-HEATED CYLINDERS
31. DRESSING MACHINE FOR PREPARING TWO WARPS SIMULTANEOUSLY
32, SIX DISTINCT KINDS OF TYPICAL JUTE FABRICS
33. POINT-PAPER DESIGNS SHOWING WEAVES FOR VARIOUS CLOTHS.
34. DIAGRAMMATIC VIEWS OF THE STRUCTURE OF PLAIN CLOTH
35. WEAVING SHED WITH BELT-DRIVEN LOOMS.
36. LOOMS DRIVEN WITH INDIVIDUAL MOTORS
37. BOBBY LOOM
38. BRUSSELS AND WILTON CARPET LOOM
39. THE OLD WAY
40. THE NEW WAY
41. CROPPING MACHINE AT WORK
42. DOUBLE CROPPING MACHINE
43. DAMPING MACHINE
44. CALENDER
45. HYDRAULIC MANGLE
46. FOLDING, LAPPING OR PLEATING MACHINE
47. CRISPING, CREASING OR RIGGING MACHINE
48, SEMI-MECHANICAL BAG OR SACK CUTTING MACHINE
49. OVERHEAD (LAING) SACK SEWING MACHINE.
50. SACK PRINTING MACHINE.




THE JUTE INDUSTRY

FROM SEED TO FINISHED CLOTH




CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTORY

The five main fibres used for ordinary textile purposes are cotton,
flax, jute, silk and wool; in this group jute has been considered in
general as being of the least value, not only in regard to price,
but also in regard to utility. It is only under phenomenal
conditions which arise from a great upheaval such as that which took
place during the world's great war from 1914 onwards that, from a
commercial point of view, the extreme importance of the jute fibre
and its products are fully realized. Millions of sand bags were made
from the year 1914 to the year 1918 solely for military purposes,
while huge quantities of jute cloth were utilized as the covering
material for food stuffs of various kinds, thus liberating the other
textile fibres and cloth for equally important purposes. It is on
record that in one short period of fourteen days, 150,000,000
sand-bags were collected, packed and despatched from Dundee to be
used as protective elements in various ways and seats of conflict.

A glance into the records of the textile industries will reveal the
fact that the jute fibre was practically unknown in these islands a
hundred years ago. Unsuccessful attempts were certainly made to
import the fibre into Great Britain in the latter part of the 18th
century, and it has been used in India for centuries in the making
of cord, twine and coarse fabrics, because the fibre is indigenous
to that country. And since all the manufacturing methods there, for
a considerable time were manual ones, the industry--if such it could
be called--moved along slowly, providing employment only for the
needs of a small section of the community on the Eastern shores.

The first small imports of jute fibre were due to the instigation of
Dr. Roxburgh and the East India Company, but it was only after
repeated requests that any attempt was made to utilize the samples
of jute for practical experiments The fibre was so unlike any of the
existing staples that those interested in textiles were not anxious
to experiment with it, but ultimately they were persuaded to do so;
these persistent requests for trials, and the interest which was
finally aroused, formed the nucleus of the existing important jute
industry.

Apart from the above-mentioned efforts, the introduction of the jute
fibre into Great Britain was delayed until 1822, when the first
small consignment reached Dundee--now the Western home of the jute
industry. This quantity was imported into this country with the
special object of having it treated by mechanical means, much in the
same way as flax fibre was being treated. At this period Dundee was
a comparatively important textile centre in regard to the spinning
and weaving of flax and hemp; it was, in consequence, only natural
that the longer, but otherwise apparently similar and coarser, jute
fibre should be submitted to the machinery in vogue for the
preparation and spinning of flax and hemp. When we say similar, we
mean in general appearance; it is now well-known that there is a
considerable difference between jute fibre and those of hemp and flax,
and hence the modifications in preparation which had ultimately to
be introduced to enable the jute fibre to be successfully treated.
These modifications shall be discussed at a later stage.

It might be stated that while only 368 cwt. of jute fibre was
reported as being shipped from Calcutta to this country in 1828, the
imports gradually increased as time passed on. The yarns which were
made from the fibre were heavier or thicker than those in demand for
the usual types of cloth, and it was desirable that other types of
cloth should be introduced so that these yarns could be utilized.
About the year 1838, representatives of the Dutch Government placed
comparatively large orders with the manufacturers for jute bags to
be used for carrying the crop of coffee beans from their West Indian
possessions. The subsequent rapid growth of the industry, and the
demand for newer types of cloth, are perhaps due more to the above
fortunate experiment than to any other circumstance.

By the year or season 1850-51, the British imports of jute fibre had
increased to over 28,000 tons, and they reached 46,000 tons in the
season 1860-61. Attention meanwhile had been directed to the
possibility of manufacturing jute goods by machinery in India--the
seat of the cultivation and growth of the fibre. At least such a
probability was anticipated, for in the year 1858 a small
consignment of machinery was despatched to Calcutta, and an attempt
made to produce the gunny bags which were typical of the Indian
native industry.

The great difference between the more or less unorganized hand
labour and the essential organization of modern mills and factories
soon became apparent, for in the first place it was difficult to
induce the natives to remain inside the works during the period of
training, and equally difficult to keep the trained operatives
constantly employed. Monetary affairs induced them to leave the
mills and factories for their more usual mode of living in the
country.

In the face of these difficulties, however, the industry grew in
India as well as in Dundee. For several years before the war, the
quantity of raw jute fibre brought to Dundee and other British ports
amounted to 200,000 tons. During the same period preceding the war,
nearly 1,000,000 tons were exported to various countries, while the
Indian annual consumption--due jointly to the home industry and the
mills in the vicinity of Calcutta--reached the same huge total of
one million tons.

The growth of the jute industry in several parts of the world, and
consequently its gradually increasing importance in regard to the
production of yarns and cloth for various purposes, enables it to be
ranked as one of the important industries in the textile group, and
one which may perhaps attain a much more important position in the
near future amongst our national manufacturing processes. As a
matter of fact, at the present time, huge extensions are
contemplated and actually taking place in India.




CHAPTER II. CULTIVATION

_Botanical and Physical Features of the Plant_. Jute fibre is
obtained from two varieties of plants which appear to differ only in
the shape of the fruit or seed vessel. Thus, the fruit of the
variety _Corchorus Capsularis_ is enclosed in a capsule of
approximately circular section, whereas the fruit of the variety
_Corchorus Olitorius_ is contained in a pod. Both belong to the
order _Tiliacea_, and are annuals cultivated mostly in Bengal and
Assam.

Other varieties are recorded, e.g. the _Corchorus Japonicus_ of Japan,
and the _Corchorus Mompoxensis_ used in Panama for making a kind of
tea, while one variety of jute plant is referred to in the book of
job as the Jew's Mallow; this variety _C. Olitorius_, has been used
in the East from time immemorial as a pot herb.

The two main varieties _C. Capsularis_ and _C. Olilorius_ are
cultivated in Bengal for the production of fibre, while for seed
purposes, large tracts of land are cultivated in Assam, and the
seeds exported for use principally in Mymensingh and Dacca.

The above two varieties of the jute plant vary in height from 5 to
15 feet, and, in a normal season, reach maturity in about four
months from the time of sowing. In some districts the stems of jute
plants are sometimes rather dark in colour, but, in general, they are
green or pink, and straight with a tendency to branch. The leaves
are alternate on the stems, 4 to 5 inches in length, and about 1-1/2
inches in breadth with serrated edges. Pale yellow flowers spring
from the axil (axilla) of the leaves, and there is an abundance of
small seeds in the fruit which, as mentioned, is characteristic of
the variety.

While many attempts have been made to cultivate jute plants in
various parts of the world, the results seem to indicate that the
necessary conditions for the successful cultivation of them are
completely fulfilled only in the Bengal area, and the geographical
position of this province is mainly responsible for these conditions.
On referring to a map of India, it will be seen that Bengal is
directly north of the bay of that name, and is bounded on the north
by the great Himalayan mountains.

During the winter period when the prevailing winds are from the north,
large areas of the mountainous regions are covered with snow, but
when the winds change and come from the south, and particularly
during the warmer weather, the moist warm air raises the general
temperature and also melts much of the snow on the mountain tracts.
The rain and melted snow swell the two great rivers on the east and
west of Bengal--the Patna and the Brahmaputra--and the tremendous
volume of water carries down decayed vegetable and animal matter
which is ultimately spread on the flat areas of Bengal as alluvial
deposits, and thus provides an ideal layer of soil for the
propagation of the jute plants.

The cultivation of land for the growing of jute plants is most
extensively conducted in the centres bordering on the courses of the
rivers, and particularly in Mymensingh, Dacca, Hooghly and Pabna,
and while 90 per cent. of the fibre is produced in Bengal, Orissa
and Bihar, there is 10 per cent. produced outside these areas.

The _Corchorus Capsularis_ variety is usually cultivated in the
higher and richer soils, while the _Corchorus Olitorius_ variety is
most suited for the lower-lying alluvial soils, and to the districts
where the rainfall is irregular; indeed, the _C. Olitorius_ may be
grown in certain other districts of India which appear quite
unsuitable for the _C. Capsularis_.

The farming operations in India are rather simple when compared with
the corresponding operations in this country; there is evidently not
the same necessity for extensive working of the Indian soil as there
is for the heavier lands; another reason for the primitive Eastern
methods may be the absence of horses.

The ploughs are made of wood and faced with iron. Bullocks, in teams
of two or more, are harnessed to the plough as shown in Fig. 1 where
a field is being ploughed as a preliminary process in jute
cultivation. The bullocks draw the plough in much the same way as
horses do in this country.

The operation of ploughing breaks up the soil, while the rough clods
may be broken by hand mallets or by the use of the "hengha"--a piece
of tree boll harnessed at the ends to a pair of bullocks.

The breaking up of the land prepares it for the cleaning process
which is performed by what are termed "ladders"; these ladders are
made of a few bamboos fixed cross-wise and provided with projecting
pins to scratch or open the soil, and to collect the roots of the
previous crop; they are the equivalent of our harrows, and may be
used repeatedly during the winter and spring seasons so that a fine
tilth may be produced.

When manure is essential, it is applied in the later ploughings, but
other large areas have artificial or chemical manures added at
similar stages in the process. Farm-yard manure is preferred, but
castor-cake and the water hyacinth--a weed--constitute good
substitutes.


After the soil has been satisfactorily prepared, the seed is sown by
hand at the period which appears most suitable for the particular
district. The usual sowing time is from February to the end of May,
and even in June in some districts where late crops can be obtained.

[Illustration: FIG. 1 NATIVES PLOUGHING THE GROUND]

There are early and late varieties of the plants, and a carefully
judged distribution of the varieties of seed over the districts for
the growing period will not only yield a succession of crops for
easy harvesting, but will also help the farmer in the selection of
seeds for other areas where atmospheric conditions differ.


It is a good practice, where possible, to sow the seed in two
directions at right angles to each other, and thus secure as uniform
a distribution as possible. The amount of seed used depends partly
upon the district, and in general from 10 lbs. to 30 lbs. per acre
are sown. The seed may cost about 8 annas or more per ser (about 2
lbs.).

[Illustration: FIG. 2 BREAKING UP THE SOIL, OR "LADDERING"]

Plants should be specially cultivated for the production of seed in
order to obtain the best results from these seeds for fibre plants.
Many of the ryots (farmers) use seed which has been collected from
plants grown from inferior seed, or from odd and often poor plants;
they also grow plants year after year on the same soil. The fibres
obtained, as a rule, and as a result of this method of obtaining
seeds, gradually deteriorate; much better results accrue when
succession of crops and change of seed are carefully attended to.

If the weather conditions are favourable, the seeds will germinate in
8 to 10 days, after which the plants grow rapidly. The heat and
showers of rain combined soon form a crust on the soil which should
be broken; this is done by means of another ladder provided with
long pins, and Fig. 2 illustrates the operation in process. This
second laddering process opens up the soil and allows the moisture
and heat to enter. The young plants are now thinned, and the ground
weeded periodically, until the plants reach a sufficient height or
strength to prevent the words from spreading.

The space between the growing plants will vary according to the
region; if there is a tendency to slow growth, there is an abundance
of plants; whereas, the thinning is most severe where the plants
show prospects of growing thick and tall.

In a normal season the plants will reach maturity in about 3 1/2 to
4 months from the time of sowing. Although different opinions are
held as to the best time for harvesting, that when the fruits are
setting appears to be most in favour; plants harvested at this stage
usually yield a large quantity of good fibre which can be perfectly
cleaned, and which is of good spinning quality.

The plants are cut down by hand and with home-made knives; in general,
these knives are of crude manufacture, but they appear to be quite
suitable for the purpose. A field of jute plants ready for cutting
will certainly form a delightful picture, but the prospect of the
operation of cutting indicates a formidable piece of work since it
requires about 10 to 14 tons of the green crop to produce about 10 to
15 cwt. of clean dry fibre.




CHAPTER III. RETTING

The method of separating the bast layer (in which the fibres are
embedded) from the stem of the plant requires a large supply of water,
since the plants must be completely submerged in the water for a
period varying from 8 to 30 days; such time is dependent upon the
period of the year and upon the district in which the operation is
performed.

The above operation of detaching the bast layer from the stem is
technically known as "retting," and a good type of retting or
steeping place is an off-set of a run, branch, or stream where the
water moves slowly, or even remains at rest, during the time the
plants are under treatment.

The disintegration of the structural part of the plant is due to a
bacterial action, and gas is given off during the operation. The
farmer, or ryot, and his men know what progress the action is making
by the presence of the air bells which rise to the surface; when the
formation of air bells ceases, the men examine the plants daily to
see that the operation does not go too far, otherwise the fibrous
layer would be injured, and the resulting fibre weak. The stems are
tested in these examinations to see if the fibrous layer, or bast
layer, will strip off clean from the wood or stem. When the ryot
considers that the layers are separated from the core sufficiently
easy, the work of steeping ceases, and the process of stripping is
commenced immediately. This latter process is conducted in various
ways depending upon the practice in vogue in the district.


In one area the men work amongst the water breaking up the woody
structure of the retted plants by means of mallets and cross rails
fixed to uprights in the water; others break the stems by hand;
while in other cases the stems are handed out of the water to women
who strip off the fibrous layer and preserve intact the central core
or straw to be used ultimately for thatching. The strips of fibre
are all cleaned and rubbed in the water to remove all the vegetable
impurities, and finally the fibre is dried, usually by hanging it
over poles and protecting it from the direct rays of the sun.

If the water supply is deficient in the vicinity where the plants
are grown, it may be advantageous to convey the fibrous layers to
some other place provided with a better supply of water for the
final washing and drying; imperfect retting and cleaning are apt to
create defects in the fibre, and to cause considerable trouble or
difficulties in subsequent branches of the industry.

Fig. 3 illustrates photomicrographs of cross sections of a jute plant.
The lower illustration represents approximately one quarter of a
complete cross section. The central part of the stem or pith is
lettered A; the next wide ring B is the woody matter; the outer
covering or cuticle is marked C; while the actual fibrous layer
appears between the parts B and C, and some of the fibres are
indicated by D. The arrows show the corresponding parts in the three
distinct views. The middle illustration shows an enlarged view of a
small part of the lowest view, while the upper illustration is a
further enlarged view of a small section of the middle view. It will
be seen that each group of fibres is surrounded by vegetable matter.

[Illustration: FIG. 3 PHOTOMICROGRAPHS OF CROSS SECTIONS OF A JUTE
PLANT]

Another method of stripping the fibrous layer off the stems or stalks,
and one which is practised in certain districts with the object of
preserving the straws, consists in breaking off a small portion, say
one foot, at the top end of the stem; the operative then grasps the
tops by the hand and shakes the plants to and fro in the water, thus
loosening the parts, after which the straws float out, leaving the
fibrous layer free. The straws are collected for future use, while the
fibre is cleaned and washed in the usual way.




CHAPTER IV. ASSORTING AND BALING JUTE FIBRE

The Indian raw jute trade is conducted under various conditions. The
method of marketing may be of such a nature that the farmers in some
districts may have to make a rough assortment of the fibre into a
number of qualities or grades, and these grades are well known in
the particular areas; on the other hand, the farmers may prefer to
sell the total yield of fibre at an overhead price per maund. A
maund is approximately equal to 8 lbs., and this quantity forms a
comparatively small bundle. In other cases, the fibre is made up into
what is known as a "drum"; this is a hand-packed bale of from 1 1/2
to 3 or 3 1/2 maunds; it is a very convenient size for transit in
India.

Practically one half of the total jute crop, of 9 to 10 million
bales of 400 lbs. each, is used in India, and the remaining half is
baled for export to the various parts of the world; a little over
one million bales are exported annually to Great Britain, the bulk
of this fibre comes to Dundee.

It is practically impossible for foreign purchasers to see the
material at the assorting stations, but the standardized method of
assorting and grading enables a purchaser to form a very good idea
of the quality of the fibre, and its suitability or otherwise for
special types of yarn and cloth. Thus, a form of selecting and
grading has been established on a basis that provides a very large
amount of jute each year of a quality which is known as "a first mark."
A mark, in general, in reference to fibre, is simply some symbol,
name, letter, monogram or the like, or a combination of two or
more, oft-times with reference to some colour, to distinguish the
origin of the fibre, the baler, or the merchant.

In normal years there is also a large quantity of fibre of a better
quality than what is known as "first mark," and this better quality
is termed "fine jute"; while there is yet a further lot, the quality
of which is below these good ones. Since there are hundreds of
different marks which are of value only to those connected directly
with the trade, it is unnecessary to dwell on the subject. The
following list, however, shows quotations of various kinds, and is
taken from the Market Report of the Dundee Advertiser of March, 1920.
The price of jute, like almost everything else, was at this date
very high, so in order to make comparisons with the 1920 and normal
prices, we introduce the prices for the corresponding grade, first
marks, for the same month in the years 1915 onwards.


JUTE PRICES, IN MARCH
First Marks

Year. Price per ton.

. s. d. . s. d.
1915 27 to 35 15
1916 44
1917 42 10
1918 51
1919 49
1920 70 (spot)


It is necessary to state that the assorting and balings are
generally so uniform that the trade can be conducted quite
satisfactorily with the aid of the usual safeguards under contract,
and guarantees regarding the properties of the fibre.

After these assorting operations are completed, the jute fibre is
made up into bundles or "bojahs" of 200 lbs. each, and two of these
200 lb. bundles are subsequently made up into a standard bale, the
weight of which is 400 lbs. This weight includes a permitted
quantity of binding rope, up to 6 lbs. in weight, while the
dimensions in the baling press of the 400 lb. bale are 4'1" X 1'6" X 1'
4".

[Illustration: FIG. 4 NATIVES CARRYING SMALL BALES OF JUTE FIBRE
FROM BOAT TO PRESS HOUSE]

Large quantities of the smaller and loosely-packed bales are
conveyed from the various places by boats to the baling houses or
press houses as they are termed. These are very large establishments,
and huge staffs of operatives are necessary to deal rapidly and
efficiently with the large number of bales. In Fig. 4 scores of
natives, superintended by a European, are seen carrying the smaller
bales on their heads from the river boat to the press house. It is,
of course, unnecessary to make the solid 400 lb. bales for Indian
consumption; this practice is usually observed only for jute which
is to be exported, and all such bales are weighed and measured at
the baling station by a Chamber of Commerce expert.

Most of the baling presses used in the press houses in the Calcutta
district are made in Liverpool, and are provided with the most
efficient type of pumps and mechanical parts. Fig. 5 illustrates one
of these huge presses with a number of natives in close proximity.
Two or three distinct operations are conducted simultaneously by
different groups of operatives, and ingenious mechanism is essential
for the successful prosecution of the work. Two such presses as that
illustrated in Fig. 5 are capable, under efficient administration, of
turning out 130 bales of 400 lbs. each in one hour. The fibre is
compressed into comparatively small bulk by hydraulic pressure equal
to 6,000 lbs. per square inch, and no packed bale must exceed in
cubical capacity 11 cubic feet after it leaves the press; it is
usual for freight purposes to reckon 5 bales or 55 cubic feet per ton.
(Now changed to 50 cubic feet.)

The jute bales are loaded either at the wharf or in the river from
barges into large steamers, many of which carry from 30,000 to
46,000 bales in one cargo to the European ports. One vessel brought
70,000 bales.

As already mentioned, jute is sold under guarantees as to quality,
and all disputes must be settled by arbitration. Although this is
the usual method of sale, it is not uncommon for quantities of jute
to be shipped unsold, and such quantities may be disposed of on the
"Spot." It is a common practice to sell a number of bales to sample,
such number depending generally upon the extent of the quantity, or
"parcel," as it is often called. The contract forms are very complete,
and enable the business to be conducted to the satisfaction of all
concerned in the trade.

[ILLUSTRATION: FIG. 5 NATIVES BAILING JUTE FIBRE IN A WATSON-FAWCETT
CYCLONE PRESS]

It will be understood that, in the yearly production of such a large
quantity of jute fibre from various districts, and obtained from
plants which have been grown under variable climatic and
agricultural conditions, in some cases the fibre will be of the
finest type procurable, while in other cases it will be of a very
indifferent type and unsuitable for use in the production of the
ordinary classes of yarns and fabrics. On the other hand, it should
be stated that there is such a wide range of goods manufactured, and
additional varieties occasionally introduced, that it appears
possible to utilize all the kinds of fibre in any year; indeed, it
seems as if the available types of fibre each season create demands
for a corresponding type of manufactured product.

The crops produced will, obviously, vary in amount and value annually,
but a few figures will help the reader to estimate in some degree
the extent of the industry and its development in various parts of
the world.


EXPORTS OF JUTE FROM INDIA

Year. Tons. Bales.

1828 18 300 lbs/bale
1832 182 300 lbs/bale
1833 300 300 lbs/bale
1834 828 300 lbs/bale
1835 1,222 300 lbs/bale
1836 16 300 lbs/bale
1837 171 300 lbs/bale


[Illustration: FIG. 6 VESSEL LADEN WITH JUTE AT QUAY-SIDE ADJOINING
JUTE SHEDS IN DUNDEE HARBOUR]

JUTE PRODUCTION IN INDIA

Season. Tons. Bales (400 lbs.).

1850-51. 28,247 158,183
1860-61. 46,182 258,619
1862-63. 108,776 609,146
1863-64. 125,903 707,056
1872-73. 406,335 2,275,476
1880-81. 343,596 1,924,137
1886-87. 413,664 2,316,518
1892-93. 586,258 3,083,023
1896-97. 588,141 3,293,591
1902-03. 580,967 3,253,414
1906-07. 829,273 4,643,929
1907-08. 1,761,982 9,867,100
1908-09. 1,135,856 6,360,800
1909-10. 1,302,782 7,295,580
1910-11 1,434,286 8,032,000
1911-12. 1,488,339 8,334,700
1912-13. 1,718,180 9,621,829
1913-14. 1,580,674 8,851,775
1914-15. 1,898,483 10,631,505
1915-16. 1,344,417 7,528,733
1916-17. 1,493,976 8,366,266
1917-18. 1,607,922 9,004,364
1918-19. 1,278,425 7,159,180
1919-20. 1,542,178 8,636,200


A large vessel containing bales of jute is berthed on the quay-side
adjoining the jute sheds in Fig. 6. The bales are raised quickly
from the hold by means of a hydraulic-engine, scarcely visible in Fig.
6 since it is at the far end of the vessel, but seen clearly in Fig.
7. When the bales are raised sufficiently high, they are guided to
the comparatively steep part of a chute from which they descend to
the more horizontal part as exemplified in Fig. 7. They are then
removed by means of hand-carts as shown, taken into the shed, and
piled or stored in some suitable arrangement with or without the aid
of a crane. Motor and other lorries are then used to convey the bales
to the various mills where the first actual process in what is termed
spinning takes place. It will be understood that the bales are stored
in the spinner's own stores after having been delivered as stated.

[Illustration: FIG. 7. HARBOUR PORTERS REMOVING BALES OF JUTE FROM
THE VESSEL SHOWN IN FIG. 6]




CHAPTER V. MILL OPERATIONS

_Bale Opening_. Each spinner, as already indicated, stores his
bales of jute of various "marks," i.e. qualities, in a convenient
manner, and in a store or warehouse from which any required number
of bales of each mark can be quickly removed to the preparing
department of the mill.

In the woollen industry, the term "blending" is used to indicate the
mixing of different varieties of material (as well as different
kinds of fibres) for the purpose of obtaining a mixture suitable for
the preparing and spinning of a definite quality and colour of
material. In much the same way, the term "batching" is used in the
jute industry, although it will be seen shortly that a more
extensive use is made of the word. A "batch," in its simplest
definition, therefore indicates a number of bales which is suitable
for subsequent handling in the Batching Department. This number may
include 5, 6, 7 or more bales of jute according to the amount of
accommodation in the preparing department.

All the above bales of a batch may be composed of the same standard
quality of jute, although the marks may be different. It must be
remembered that although the marks have a distinct reference to
quality and colour, they actually represent some particular firm or
firms of balers or merchants. At other times, the batch of 5 to 10
bales may be composed of different qualities of jute, the number of
each kind depending partly upon the finished price of the yarn,
partly upon the colour, and partly upon the spinning properties of
the combination.

It will be understood that the purpose for which the finished yarn
is to be used will determine largely the choice of the bales for any
particular batch. For example, to refer to a simple differentiation,
the yarn which is to be used for the warp threads in the weaving of
cloth must, in nearly every case, have properties which differ in
some respects from the yarn which is to be used as weft for the same
cloth.

On the whole, it will be found advantageous, when the same grade of
jute is required, to select a batch from different balers' marks so
that throughout the various seasons an average quality may be
produced. The same class of yarn is expected at all times of the year,
but it is well known that the properties of any one mark may vary
from time to time owing to the slight variations in the manipulation
of the fibre at the farms, and to the variations of the weather
during the time of growth, and during the season generally.

A list of the bales for the batch is sent to the batching department,
this list being known as a "batch-ticket." The bales are, of course,
defined by their marks, and those mentioned on the batch-ticket must
be rigidly adhered to for one particular class of yarn; if there is
any chance of one kind running short, the condition should be
notified in time so that a suitable mark may be selected to take its
place without effecting any great change in the character or quality
of the yarn.

When the number and kind of bales have been selected and removed
from the groups or parcels in the store or warehouse, they are
conveyed to the batching department, and placed in a suitable
position near the first machine in the series. It need hardly be
mentioned that since the fibre, during the operation of baling, is
subjected to such a high hydraulic pressure, the bale presents a
very solid and hard appearance, see Fig. 7, for the various
so-called "heads" of fibre have been squeezed together and forced
into a very small bulk. In such a state, the heads are quite
unfitted for the actual batching operation; they require to be opened
out somewhat so that the fibres will be more or less separated from
each other. This operation is termed "opening" and the process is
conducted in what is known as a "bale opener," one type of which is
illustrated in Fig. 8, and made by Messrs. Urquhart, Lindsay & Co.,
Ltd., Dundee.

The various bales of the batch are arranged in a suitable manner
near the feed side of the machine, on the left in the view, so that
they can be handled to the best advantage. The bands or ropes, see
Fig. 7, are removed from the bale in order that the heads or large
pieces of jute can be separated. If any irregularity in the
selection of the heads from the different bales of the batch takes
place in this first selection of the heads of jute, the faulty
handling may affect subsequent operations in such a way that no
chance of correcting the defect can occur; it should be noted at
this stage that if there are slight variations of any kind in the
fibres, it is advisable to make special efforts to obtain a good
average mixture; as a matter of fact, it is wise to insist upon a
judicious selection in every case. The usual variations are--the
colour of the fibre, its strength, and the presence of certain
impurities such as stick, root, bark or specks; if the pieces of jute,
which are affected adversely by any of the above, are carefully
mixed with the otherwise perfect fibre, most of the faults may
disappear as the fibre proceeds on its way through the different
machines.

[Illustration: FIG. 8 BALE OPENER _By permission of Messrs. Urquhart,
Lindsay & Co., Ltd_.]

The layers of heads are often beaten with a heavy sledge hammer in
hand batching, but for machine batching a bale opener is used, and
this operation constitutes the preliminary opening. As already
indicated, the heads of jute are fed into the machine from the left
in Fig. 8, each head being laid on a travelling feed cloth which
carries the heads of jute successively between a pair of feed
rollers from which they are delivered to two pairs of very
deeply-fluted crushing rollers or breakers. The last pair of
deep-fluted rollers is seen clearly on the right in the figure.
These two pairs of heavy rollers crush and bend the compressed heads
of jute and deliver them in a much softer condition to the delivery
sheet on the right. The delivery sheet is an endless cloth which has
a continuous motion, and thus the softened heads are carried to the
extreme right, at which position they are taken from the sheet by
the operatives. The upper rollers in the machine may rise in their
bearings against the downward pressure of the volute springs on the
bearings; this provision is essential because of the thick and thin
places of the heads.

A different type of bale opener, made by Messrs. Charles Parker, Sons, &
Co., Dundee, and designed from the Butchart patent is illustrated in
Fig. 9. It differs mainly from the machine illustrated in Fig. 8 in
the shape of the crushing or opening rollers.

It will be seen on referring to the illustration that there are
three crushing rollers, one large central roller on the top and
situated between two lower but smaller rollers. Each roller has a
series of knobs projecting from a number of parallel rings. The
knobs are so arranged that they force themselves into the hard
layers of jute, and, in addition to this action, the heads of jute
have to bend partially round the larger roller as they are passing
between the rollers.



Pages: | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | Next |

Main -> Kilgour, P -> The Jute Industry: from Seed to Finished Cloth