Thursday, 29 September, 2022
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Reviving lost glory of Muslin

Reviving lost glory of Muslin

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Nearly two centuries ago, Dhakai Muslin was the finest fabric on the earth. According to historians, the trade of the famed textile helped turn former East Bengal (now Bangladesh) into one of the most prosperous parts of the globe. As per revelation of a history book, Muslin worth around 350 thousand taka used to be exported annually from Sonargaon to the overseas market. But the industry collapsed in the years after the 18th-century conquest of the Bengal delta by the East India Company, paving the way for British colonial rule.

For over 200 years since then, Muslin was merely a memory, until recently, when because of keen interest of the incumbent government and the craftsmanship of our local artisans, a move has been initiated for revival of the legendary fabric. The Bangladesh Handloom Board’s (BHB) attempt for resurrection of the forgotten fabric is undoubtedly a commendable step.

Necessary research in this regard was carried out from the revenue budget of BHB. Later, a project titled ‘Bangladesh’s Golden Tradition Muslin Yarn-making Technology and Muslin Fabrics Recovery Project’ was undertaken in Cumilla district. Under the project, over 200 women are producing Muslin yarn in Sonapur and Rampur villages of the district’s Chandina and Debidwar upazilas. Earlier, BHB provided necessary training to them who produce Muslin yarn in spinning machines used in producing Khadi. It is encouraging that employment opportunities have been created for women under the project.

However, it must be ensured that the women workers get adequate remuneration for leading a dignified life. There is also a strong business case associated with the revival of Muslin. Sincere efforts should be made on the part of the stakeholders for creating demand for the unique fabric in global markets through wide media publicity. Officials of the Bangladesh embassies working abroad should also be given the responsibility of publicity of the country’s Muslin. Both the public and private sectors should work in close coordination with each other for flourishing the market and growth of the industry. Public-private investment is a must for making the new-found industry viable enough. For the purpose, both the public and private sectors need to work in unison.