We believe that poverty can never be alleviated by charity alone. By conducted ethical business with the welfare of the local community and its employees at the centre, we believe responsible enterprise is best positioned to make a lasting difference in the lives of people. Our businesses not only provide stable and read more...
Where India and England collide. India’s second-biggest city is a daily festival of human existence, simultaneously noble and squalid, cultured and desperate read more......
Where India and England collide. India’s second-biggest city is a daily festival of human existence, simultaneously noble and squalid, cultured and desperate.
By its old spelling, Calcutta conjures up images of human suffering to most Westerners. But locally, Kolkata is regarded as India’s intellectual and cultural capital. While poverty is certainly in your face, the dapper Bengali gentry continue to frequent grand old gentlemen’s clubs, back horses at the Calcutta Racetrack and tee off at some of India’s finest golf courses.
As the former capital of British India, Kolkata retains a feast of colonial-era architecture contrasting starkly with urban slums and dynamic new-town suburbs with their air-conditioned shopping malls. Kolkata is the ideal place to experience the mild, fruity tang of Bengali cuisine. Friendlier than India’s other metropolises, this is a city you ‘feel’ more than simply visit. Walk the chaotic back alleys, ride the Hooghly ferries and, if you’ve got more time, take an excursion to the Sundarbans. City of Joy is a 1985 novel by Dominique Lapierre. Kolkata is nicknamed as the City of Joy after this novel.
Jute, Hindi pat, also called allyott, either of two species of Corchorus plants-C. capsularis, or white jute, and C. olitorius, including both tossa and daisee varieties-belonging read more.....
Jute, Hindi pat, also called allyott, either of two species of Corchorus plants-C. capsularis, or white jute, and C. olitorius, including both tossa and daisee varieties-belonging to the hibiscus, or mallow family (Malvaceae), and their fibre. The latter is a bast fibre; i.e., it is obtained from the inner bast tissue of the bark of the plant’s stem. Jute fibre’s primary use is in fabrics for packaging a wide range of agricultural and industrial commodities that require bags, sacks, packs, and wrappings. Wherever bulky, strong fabrics and twines resistant to stretching are required, jute is widely used because of its low cost. Burlap is made from jute.
Jute has been grown in the Bengal area of India (and of present-day Bangladesh) from ancient times. The export of raw jute from the Indian subcontinent to the Western Hemisphere began in the 1790s. The fibre was used primarily for cordage manufacture until 1822, when commercial yarn manufacture began at Dundee, Scot., which soon became a centre for the industry. India’s own jute-processing industry began in 1855, Calcutta becoming the major centre.
The jute plant, which probably originated on the Indian subcontinent, is an herbaceous annual that grows to an average of 10 to 12 feet (3 to 3.6 metres) in height, with a cylindrical stalk about as thick as a finger. The two species grown for jute fibre are similar and differ only in the shape of their seed pods, growth habit, and fibre characteristics. Most varieties grow best in well-drained, sandy loam and require warm, humid climates with an average monthly rainfall of at least 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) during the growing season. The plant’s light green leaves are 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long, about 2 inches (5 cm) wide, have serrated edges, and taper to a point. The plant bears small yellow flowers.
The jute plant’s fibres lie beneath the bark and surround the woody central part of the stem. The fibre strands nearest the bark generally run the full length of the stem. A jute crop is usually harvested when the flowers have been shed but before the plants’ seedpods are fully mature. If jute is cut before then, the fibre is weak; if left until the seed is ripe, the fibre is strong but is coarser and lacks the characteristic lustre.
The fibres are held together by gummy materials; these must be softened, dissolved, and washed away to allow extraction of the fibres from the stem, a process accomplished by steeping the stems in water, or retting. After harvesting, the bundles of stems are placed in the water of pools or streams and are weighted down with stones or earth. They are kept submerged for 10–30 days, during which time bacterial action breaks down the gummy tissues surrounding the fibres. After retting is complete, the fibres are separated from the stalk by beating the root ends with a paddle to loosen them; the stems are then broken off near the root, and the fibre strands are jerked off the stem. The fibres are then washed, dried, sorted, graded, and baled in preparation for shipment to jute mills. In the latter, the fibres are softened by the addition of oil, water, and emulsifiers, after which they are converted into yarn. The latter process involves carding, drawing, roving, and spinning to separate the individual fibre filaments; arrange them in parallel order; blend them for uniformity of colour, strength, and quality; and twist them into strong yarns. Once the yarn has been spun, it can be woven, knitted, twisted, corded, sewn, or braided into finished products.
Jute is used in a wide variety of goods. Jute mats and prayer rugs are common in the East, as are jute-backed carpets worldwide. Jute’s single largest use, however, is in sacks and bags, those of finer quality being called burlap, or hessian. Burlap bags are used to ship and store grain, fruits and vegetables, flour, sugar, animal feeds, and other agricultural commodities. High-quality jute cloths are the principal fabrics used to provide backing for tufted carpets, as well as for hooked rugs (i.e., Oriental rugs). Jute fibres are also made into twines and rough cordage.
Cotton, seed-hair fibre of a variety of plants of the genus Gossypium,belonging to the hibiscus, or mallow, family (Malvaceae) and native to most subtropical parts of the world read more....
Cotton, seed-hair fibre of a variety of plants of the genus Gossypium,belonging to the hibiscus, or mallow, family (Malvaceae) and native to most subtropical parts of the world.
Cotton, seed-hair fibre of a variety of plants of the genus Gossypium,belonging to the hibiscus, or mallow, family (Malvaceae) and native to most subtropical parts of the world. Cotton, one of the world’s leading agricultural crops, is plentiful and economically produced, making cotton products relatively inexpensive. The fibres can be made into a wide variety of fabrics ranging from lightweight voiles and laces to heavy sailcloths and thick-piled velveteens, suitable for a great variety of wearing apparel, home furnishings, and industrial uses. Cotton fabrics can be extremely durable and resistant to abrasion. Cotton accepts many dyes, is usually washable, and can be ironed at relatively high temperatures. It is comfortable to wear because it absorbs and releases moisture quickly. When warmth is desired, it can be napped, a process giving the fabric a downy surface. Various finishing processes have been developed to make cotton resistant to stains, water, and mildew; to increase resistance to wrinkling, thus reducing or eliminating the need for ironing; and to reduce shrinkage in laundering to not more than 1 percent. Nonwoven cotton, made by fusing or bonding the fibres together, is useful for making disposable products to be used as towels, polishing cloths, tea bags, tablecloths, bandages, and disposable uniforms and sheets for hospital and other medical uses. The world’s leading producers of cotton are China, the United States, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Brazil, and Turkey. Other large producers areAustralia, Greece, Syria, Egypt, and Turkmenistan.
Cotton fibres may be classified roughly into three large groups, based on staple length (average length of the fibres making up a sample or bale of cotton) and appearance. The first group includes the fine, lustrous fibres with staple length ranging from about 2.5 to 6.5 cm (about 1 to 2.5 inches) and includes types of the highest quality—such as Sea Island, Egyptian, and pima cottons. Least plentiful and most difficult to grow, long-staple cottons are costly and are used mainly for fine fabrics, yarns, and hosiery. The second group contains the standard medium-staple cotton, such as American Upland, with staple length from about 1.3 to 3.3 cm (0.5 to 1.3 inches). The third group includes the short-staple, coarse cottons, ranging from about 1 to 2.5 cm (0.5 to 1 inch) in length, used to make carpets and blankets, coarse and inexpensive fabrics, and blends with other fibres.
The procedure for weaving cotton yarn into fabric is similar to that for other fibres. Cotton looms interlace the tense lengthwise yarns, called warp, with crosswise yarns called weft, or filling. Warp yarns often are treated chemically to prevent breaking during weaving.