Muslin: The ephemeral fabric of Bangladesh

Bangladesh has long history of Jute and Silk generation alongside cotton, and of course, muslin. It has gigantic alluvial stores from Hugli, Ganga and its fundamental waterway Brahmaputra.

Gotten from the name of the Indian port town Machilipatnam which was all the more usually known as Maisolos in the antiquated circumstances, muslin is a cotton texture of plain weave. Hand-woven from a remarkable and fragile yarn, it was found in Bangladesh and the Indian State of West Bengal. It was sent out to Europe for a significant part of the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

A most loved fabric by the Romans, it was looked for by dealers of the Roman domain and accordingly acquired in different parts of Europe. Amid the seventeenth and eighteenth century, Mughal Bengal rose as the premier exporter of muslin on the planet, with Mughal Dhaka as the capital of the overall muslin exchange.

A weave used to churn out the beautiful fabric.
Image: teresa gibb on Flickr

Amid the Roman time frame, Khadi, the fabric became acquainted with Europe and tremendous measures of textures were exchanged. It turned out to be very well known in France, and inevitably spread crosswise over to a significant part of the Western world. The Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa depicted the muslin of Bangladesh in the mid sixteenth century. He specified a couple of sorts of textures, for example, ‘estrabante’ (sarband), ‘mamona’, ‘fugoza’, ‘choutara’, and ‘sinabaka’.

Bengali muslin was exchanged all through the Muslim world, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia. In numerous Islamic locales, especially in Central Asia, the material was named Daka, after the city of Dhaka. William Bolts, an dealer noted in 1772 that there were occasions where “thumbs were cut off” keeping in mind the end goal to stop the generation of the cloth. Accordingly, the nature of muslin endured extraordinarily and its artfulness was almost lost for two centuries.

The fabric was imported by Europeans to make fine shirts, dresses, underpants, and youngsters’ apparel. Josephine Bonaparte was broadly painted wearing a semi-sheer muslin outfit. Honorable women regularly hosed their muslin dresses to make their legs and different parts of their life structures more obvious. By the late 17 century, dealers had conveyed muslin to America. It rapidly wound up prominent and was utilized as often as possible from weddings and gathering dresses to ordinary things, for example, youngsters’ garments and shades. These fine striped, sprigged muslins were foreign made from India.

Accounts of the Far East have often described Muslin as translucent and ephemeral.
Image: Internet Archives of Book Images on Flickr

Quite a long time ago the fabric was world acclaimed for its translucent nature. They had a syndication business amid that time in Asia, Europe, North American and the African locale. Dhaka turned into the capital of Mughal empire in 1608. Yet, even before that the general population of Bengal was known for muslin.  The Roman creators recorded that ‘Nonexclusive Muslin’ was the most pined for of extravagant products. It is pitiful that what was at one time the pride of Bengal is presently lost in the pages of history. It is dependent upon us to resuscitate it and bring back the extravagance that itexemplified.

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