Actually, I'm kind of interested . . . I mean, why jute? Was rope just that important for ships and shipping? Or for some other reason?
That makes for an interesting link to India under the British Empire, given that jute was one of the major economic concerns of the British Empire in India (geeky I know, but I'm writing a book on something related at the moment.)Huh. Who knew (other than you).
More importantly, who cares other than me.
I'm not the one writing a book, but my understanding is that Jute is to the subcontinent what Cotton was to the southern US in that it costs very little to produce and can be used in a broad range of applications.
Jute is cheap to produce and hard wearing. The British East India Company heavily exploited Jute production in the 19th Century, and after the British Government took over the Dundee Jute Barons held a monopoly at one point. Jute mills, although widespread were heavily concentrated in Bengal, and during the First World War the British Empire placed a huge amount of pressure on Bengali's to produce material as a contribution to the war effort. This led to widespread resentment and the rise of terrorist organizations in Bengal, who took up against the British with some success. After the First World War, as Britain struggled to control a population keen on breaking away, jute production continued to be a major focus of both British economic desires, but also for the Indian freedom movement. Of the more than 1,000 strikes in the 1920s in India, a large proportion of them centred around jute mills.
My interest is actually not so much with the jute, but with the politics. The book is on the Soviet Union's attempts to destabilize India between the First and Second World Wars. Jute comes up quite a bit.
My original link though was jute twine and hops, tied into IPAs