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Nothing would appear to be more easy than to provide but useful for a variety of purposes, of split bamboos. the same, or an efficient substitute, if we look at the The most famous mats are, however, made of the split various basts which have been sent from different parts Cyperus tegetum, in Bengal, and of the same or a similar of India, as, for instance, that of the Beemul, from as far species, C. textilis in the Indian peninsula, but the kind north as the Deyra valley, and the Butteah, from the especially called seetul pateer, or cool mats of Bengal, aro Assam valley. But, for the purposes of foreign com- made of the Phrynium, now Maranta dichotoma. This, merce, those from Akyab, the seaport of Arracan, seem as well as the former, is well adapted for platting of all most desirable, as they are abundant, cheap, and easily kinds. divisible into fine, pliant, and knot-tying fibres. Some
TWINE AND CORDAGE MATERIALS. sent to the Chiswick-gardens of the Horticultural Society Though I have arranged the several fibres under what were favourably reported upon. The retail price of are apparently useful heads, it is evident that the arrangeseveral, even when twisted into rope, in Akyab, is one ment is an arbitrary one, for some may be used for each rupee per maund, that is, three shillings per cwt. For and all other purposes to which such material is applithis sum, therefore, they might be put on board ship; cable. These are, therefore, arranged rather according and if bast, even when twisted into rope, we may ask why to their present appearances than to what they may not paper stuff at about the same sum. Various ex- be ultimately brought, as there is no doubt that preparaperimental fibres have been sent from Calcutta for £3 tion will convert a bast into a cordage fibre, and a still and £4 per ton for freight. The rapidity with which more careful process, bring it to a state fitting it for the the exports from Akyab have increased is something re- highest textile purposes. markable. The value of exports in
Having before given a detailed account of the great
variety of cordage materials procurable in India, I need Kingdom.
the world. not do more than refer to some of the new fibres, or to 1854-55 was ... Rs. 3,568,169 ... 5,357,801 old ones from new situations, which were sent to the Paris
1855-56 „ ... 8,112,408 ... 10,300,113 Exhibition, and select those for remark which seem the The western coast of the peninsula of India being also
most likely to become extended articles of commerce. In moist in climate, is equally favourable for the growth of the first place, we have seen that the grass called Moonga bast or fibrous material. Several such have been sent from
is employed both on the Ganges and Indus rivers for tow Travancore, for which Cochin is the most convenient port ropes, and a kind of cotton-grass for making bridges for shipment. As an instance. I will only mention the in the Himalaya. Though coir rope is well-known, bark bags which are employed for holding rice. These
the black Ejoo deserves to be equally so, from its great are formed of the bark of Antiaris saccidora, which is
which is strength and incorruptibility under water. The Pita or common in the jungles of Canara, near Coorg and Tra- | Agave, commonly called aloe, is used both in mines and vancore.
for the rigging of ships in the New World. The plant These bags are made by cutting a branch correspond-has become common in, and is well suited to the dry parts ing to the length and diameter of the sack wanted. It of India. This is also indicated by specimens sent from is soaked a little, and then beaten with clubs until the different
different and distant parts of the country. Ropes made inner bark separates from the wood. This done, the of.
"the of it are coming into use among the natives, and the fibre bark is turned inside out, and pulled down, until only a
might be obtained to a considerable extent. It has been small piece of it remains attached to the wood, which is
bod which is said that it is liable to rot when exposed to wet, but this to form the bottom of the sack, and from which the re
is not found to be the case in South America. Much mainder is then sawn off. If we look at the immense
will depend upon how experiments are made, for if mass of the fibrous matter, and the white colour of the
the mucilaginous parts of fibres are not sufficiently inner layer, and how the fibres of the several layers cross se
separated, and a bundle of fibre or rope is macerated in each other, one cannot but be struck with the apparent
| a tub of water, or exposed to wet in a warm climate, fitness of the whole for being beaten into half-stuff for
| fermentation will take place and decomposition ensue. paper-makers; and regret that so much valuable material
All which would not be experienced if the fibre was must be lost, when only the thick part of the branches
cleaned in running water, and then exposed to wet and is made use of for making these sacks for holding rice.
afterwards to dry or moist air. In experiments tried at Some bast has been imported from Arracan by Major
Toulon, Calcutta and Madras, Pita ropes were found to Lyell, but it is difficult to find a purchaser for a new ar
possess great strength. ticle. It is, however, of good quality, as the layers,
Pine-apple and marool fibres, though fitted for better when separated, tie knots well.
purposes, have also been made into rope, and some of the One ton of Gharoo fibre, or rather bast, has been sent
former, made into a rope, 34 inches in circumference, from Malacca, to have its value ascertained, as large
bore 57 cwt., though the Indian Government require quantities could be procured there. The gharoo. is
ropes of that size to bear only 42 cwt. known in commerce ; but it is the wood of this tree Manilla hemp is now well known as a fibre able to bear
aved state, which is well known as the high great strains, and its rope, therefore, is much used for the priced lignum alocs, so valued as incense. The bast has
rigging of ships, as well as in warehouses. The plantain been sent both in its twisted and untwisted state.
" It is being, like it, a species of Musa, it has been supposed that
It is a mass of lustrous fibre, of great tenacity.
its fibre might be turned to useful account, especially as
the plant is grown in such vast abundance on account of PLATTING AND MAT-MAKING MATERIALS. its fruit, and the fibre is an annual refuse. There is no These being, like the basts, bulky material, and of doubt that much useful fibre may be obtained from this low price, cannot be expected to pay the expenses of plant, and of which cordage may be made, applicable to freight, therefore, few observations will suffice to show the a variety of ordinary purposes, especially if carefully abundance of materials. India has long been famous for its prepared, that is, without steeping in water, but by simple mats, as the people produce some of the finest known. pressure and scraping. Indeed, a twelve-thread rope of which are often to be admired for the elegance of the plantain fibre, made in India, broke with 864 lb., where patterns with which the material is coloured and woven. a similar rope of pine-app
a similar rope of pine-apple fibre broke with 924 lb. Mats being suitable both for sitting or sleeping on the As it is desirable to know the quantity of fibre which ground, and especially pleasant in hot weather, are made may be obtained from a certain quantity of ground, we of all qualities and prices for different classes of society. may refer to the results o
may refer to the results of experiments which have been Thus, some are made of grasses, and others of the Bul. / recorded, though all require to be carefully reported :rush, in different parts of India; some of the leaves of
New Zealand Flax ...... 1792 lbs. per acre the Kaldera bush or screw pine ; many of the Cadjan or
Moorva, or Marool ...... 1613 to 3226 lbs, in two crop dried leaves of the Palmira tree. some stiffer in nature Plantain .................. 1800 to 2500 lbs. per acre.
It has been calculated that with appropriate machinery, moreover adds, that there are thousands of acres unin suitable localities, the expenses of obtaining such occupied, but which are well fitted for the culture of this fibres ought not to exceed from £9 to £10, and that they plant, as the soil is exactly similar to that of the places might then be landed in England from £13 to £16 per ton. where it now grows. All the low land fit for rice culti
The preceding observations refer to the fibre of endo- vation has been long taken up. This is a district which genous plants, but those of exogens are equally, if not runs for many miles along the west-coast. more valuable, for almost all the purposes to which The production of fibre of this quality is not confined fibres are applied. Already we have seen among the to the western coast of the peninsula. Some equally basts, a number of barks which have been merely stripped good is produced in some other districts, for infrom trees and twisted into strong, and for many pur-stance, the Janapa naroo of Ganjam, and the so-called poses very serviceable ropes. We have here a sufficient hemp and flax from Goomsoor; and it has also been sent number of them to convince you of the abundance as well of excellent quality, long and well-cleaned, from Chota, as of the goodness of such materials. But it would Nagpore. This is very similar to Mr. Williams's not be difficult greatly to extend the number, for seve-Jubbulpore hemp, which I formerly showed, and as ral families abound in plants having barks possessed yielded by Crotalaria tenuifolia ; and, though Jubbulof similar properties. Besides these basts, there are pore is far in the interior, Mr. Williams sends it to numerous fibres which are sufficiently separated from each Calcutta, and even to this country. Even still further other to be twisted into yarn, and subsequently into in the interior, we have a very excellent specimen of the ropes. They are all possessed of sufficient strength and same kind of fibre from the Punjab, and which was sent flexibility to permit their being well fitted for ordinary, as the packing of some large models from Lanore. but some of them may be for any purposes to which fibres As these last localities are far in the interior, it might are applied. But I think it preferable to confine myself be supposed that there would be difficulty in procuring to two or three only of these fibres, in order that the these fibres. There is, however, a very excellent one, attention of manufacturers may be concentrated on them, which has been unaccountably, neglected, as it may be so that planters in the East may be induced to give their obtained even in Bengal. That is the Dhunchee exertions to the extended cultivation and improved pro (Sesbania aculeata) which is cultivated there, and forms perties of those fibres which seem most likely to respond a coarse but strong substitute for hemp. Ropes made of to the demands made on them for quantity or quality, or it have the objection, for some purposes, of contracting. both combined in one.
The price is usually under that of jute; in the inI do not at present refer to the jute, of which so many terior about 3s. per cwt. Excellent specimens of thousand tons are yearly imported, nor to the sunn of Dhunchee rope have been sent from Calcutta ; some, Bengal, which has been so long used as a substitute for having been submitted to various experiments, has been hemp. Of this the peculiarities seem to me to depend as so satisfactorily reported upon, that the fibre appears to much upon the mode of preparation as upon the pecu- me well worthy of being imported, as well as the fine liarities of the plant. But I would beg to call attention specimens of what is here called Brown hemp. to two or three fibres which may or may not be produced We may now proceed to notice the new specimens of by different plants, but which have been several times the true hemp, or Cannabis sativa. In my former lecture picked out by practical men as good substitutes for hemp, I called attention to what was considered one of the and perhaps also for flax.
strongest of fibres, and which I called Kote Kangra These may be arranged under the head of the Brown hemp, as it was supposed to be the produce of the true hemp of Bombay. This, it is curious to note, is pro-hemp from the newly acquired portion of the Punjab duced by two different plants: one, the Ambaree (Hibiscus Himalayas. From the representations made to them, cannabinus) or Deckanee hemp, and the other the Tag the Court of Directors of the East India Company (Crotalaria juncea) or Conkunee hemp. Though the fibre ordered that from five to ten tons, as convenient, should of this last plant, as prepared in Bengal, is totally dif- be sent to this country from Kemaon, the Deyra Doon, and ferent from that of the other, yet, as prepared in the Kote Kangra, it order that the cultivators might have west of India, there is a great similarity between them. some inducement to grow the plant, and that manuThis, I have already stated, is shown in fibres sent from facturers here might become acquainted with the proBombay on foriner occasions. It is found in two spe- perties of the Himalayan hemp, so that it might become cimens sent from Sattara ; one is the Ambadee (Hibis known to, and established in, the market here. The cus cannabinus), much used there for ropes, and the least experiment has not, as yet, been very successful. troublesome to prepare, costing about nine pie per lb.: First, of 171 packages of hemp fibre received via and the other is the Tag ( Crotalaria juncea), used both Bareilly from the Assistant-Commissioner of Kemaon, for sacks and ropes, but costing about 11 pie per lb. Both it was reported by the master attendant in Calcutta, are well adapted for cordage, as is also the Janapa, the that the whole was more or less damaged from having same Crotalaria juncea from the Malabar coast, which been wetted by fresh water, so that one-third was enhas always been famous for the excellence of its fibres. tirely destroyed; but the rest having been carefully
The district of Canara, which, indeed, is only a pro- garbled, aired, and dried, was compressed into twentylongation of the same Malabar coast, has sent some six bales. Of these twenty-three were in good order specimens of fibre which have been much admired for and three slightly damaged. Some specimens are here, the fineness, strength, and clean state of preparation and all will shortly be sold by Messrs. Noble. of the fibre. They have been sent without any in The next import of this true hemp from the Himaformation respecting them. One is the Naroo, or the layas, was grown in Mandoo and Kooloo, in the Kangra fibre probably of the Crotalaria, and the other is the district. There was some difficulty in collecting it, in Poondy naroo, perhaps the above Hibiscus. So, further consequence of its being the first occasion, and theredown the same coast, we have the Wuk naroo, in fore it was not ready for despatch until the beginning, Travancore, which might, even in the state in which of the rainy season. Somewhere about two tons were it is sent, be used at once as a substitute for flax. sent down the Indus to Kurrachee, from whence it was That there would be no difficulty in obtaining this forwarded to Bombay, all by water-carriage. Unforfibre in considerable quantities from Canara, is evident tunately this, like the Kemaon sample, got wetted, and from a statement recently made by the collector of this therefore damaged in transit. It was, therefore, condistrict, that is, he has " a full belief that, if there sidered doubtful whether it was in a fit condition to should be a steady demand for this hemp for two or send to England. Its quality, however, on being tested three years, it would become one of their staple in Bombay, was found to be greatly superior to what products, instead of being cultivated in small quantities was expected, and it was carefully sent in a cabin from only for fishermen to make their nets and lines." He Bombay, but not having been pressed, its freight has cost more than it was worth. It is valuable, however, are both employed for textile purposes, we will next as the first specimen that has been imported, and we notice the attempts which have been made to produce have it here to judge of the probable value of this new flax in India. source of hemp.
FLAX AND LINSEED. One important fact is mentioned in the correspond Of the great abundance of the flax plant in India we ence, and that is, that fleets, instead of single boats, now have a sure proof in the increasing quantities of linseed navigate the Indus, and that the freight by them had
which are yearly exported from India. Thus, in 1851, been reduced from R. 1 2 to 10 annas per maund,* from 93,814 cwt., and in 1854, 362,882 cwt., were imported Lahore to Kurrachee.
into this country.
Many have thought that, as India produces so large a TEXTILE FIBRES.
quantity of linseed, and no flax, there must be a great In Mr. Yates's admirable work, entitled “ Textrinum waste of useful material. There is no doubt some truth Antiquorum," there is a map of the ancient world, ac- in the former statement, but not nearly to the extent cording to the raw materials principally produced in it that is supposed; for, in consequence of the mode of culfor weaving, and it may serve to give an idea of the extent ture and the peculiarities of climate, the stem is short and variety of India to state, that it embraces all the raw and branching, producing much seed and a little coarse materials which are considered to characterise the divi- flax, which is separated with difficulty, from the branchsions of the ancient world. Thus, camel's wool and ing nature of the plant. The appearances, indeed, goat's hair in Sindh, sheep's wool in north-west India, seemed so favourable, that a company was established and with hemp in the Himalayas, are all worn, as silk by men acquainted with India: à Belgian cultivator, is in Assam, and cotton all over the plains of India. In and Belgian preparer of flax, were sent to Bengal. addition to these, we might add a number of vegetable Though flax was produced—said to be worth from £40 fibres used for textile purposes. Thus, jute, sunn, and to £60—no permanent effect was produced, though it ambaree, are three different fibres which are woven into was said to have cost one experimentalist only from £12 cloth in different places. So the white fibres of the to £15, and who ought to have succeeded, as he says moorva, or Indian bow-string hemp, are woven into that the expenses of cultivation were paid for by the muslin-like fibre, so abundant in the jungly salt soils of seed; but others state that it cost £31 and £32 a ton. the coast; this is still more the case with the pine-apple, I cannot, however, think that which is done successfully which, from its fineness, and the abundance in which the in Egypt is impossible in every part of India. Indeed, I plant occurs, is invaluable; for instance, in the neighbour- was of opinion that it might be successfully produced in hood of Singapore, and in the adjacent islands, there are said
Sangar and Nerbuddah territories, in consequence of the to be thousands of acres covered with this plant, and there soil and climate being such as will probably suit the the plant grows so readily, that the supply may be con- plant, deficiency of moisture being seldom complained sidered inexhaustible. It is named pigna by the Spaniards of. But I have not heard the results of Mr. Williams' of the Philippine Islands, from the reseinblance of its
8, Irom the resein biance of its proposed experiments. fruit to the cone of a pine tree. Hence the name of pina| Some of the finest linseed having been produced in the cloth, sometimes called batiste d'ananas, which we some-neighbourhood of Saharampore, in 30 degrees of north times see richly-embroidered by the nuns in the convents latitude, and some flax which was grown from this seed of Manilla, Both names are interesting, the one as having been highly thought of at Liverpool, it was decharacteristic of the cloth, and the other of the plant termined to have an experimental culture under Dr. which yields one of the kinds of fabric which is made Jameson, who so successfully conducts the cultivation and exported from the Philippine Isles, and which is and manufacture of tea. Here there is a variety of characterised by its muslin-like character, though some-cliinates, as in the plains at the head of the northern what wiry in feel, and apt to become of a brownish hue. Doob, in the Door valley, and on the hills themselves. There is yet another kind of fabric which, unfortunately, The report has not been yet received, but in a private is by some also called pina cloth, but which I cannot be- letter I lately received from him he stated that they had lieve to be produced by the pine-apple, as the fibres are sueceeded completely in the cultivation of the plant, but broader, softer, and have a lustrous appearance. I have had failed in the separation of the flax. This is a thing been unable to obtain any positive information respecting that can be easily remedied. the source of this fabric, but I believe it to be the pro- The Agricultural Society of the Punjab first produced duce of the same plant as that which yields Manilla hemp, some flax in the winter of 1853-54. Samples of this for we are told that the plant called Abaca (Musa textilis), having been sent to Calcutta it was pronounced to be the is grown to a considerable extent; that the outer layers finest fax that had been grown in the country. The yield fibre fitted for cordage, and the inner ones for Indian Government having been applied to, authorised weaving, into fabrics, such as web cloths, which are de- through the Society that prizes should be given for the scribed as having lustre, softness, and white colour. The largest area of land cultivated with the flax plant, and fibres for fine weaving are rendered soft and pliable by also the purchase of the entire crop of merchantable flax, beating them with a wooden mallet. I am further con- as well as of the seed, at the current Bazaar rate; if no firmed in the correctness of this opinion, from the fibres purchasers should present themselves. Directions were
the plantain, which is a species of or musa, when care- published and distributed, and preparations made for the fully prepared, having a glossy and silk-like appearance. I reception of the large quantities of flax which were exDr. Hunter found that all steeping in water is injurious, pected to be brought to Lahore. The Society was also and that it is better to separate it by pressure and authorised to rent some land, which was to be cultivated scraping at once, and the more carefully it is cleaned the
under their own inspection, and the flax prepared by a stronger is the fibre, and more glossy. As I formerly European who had had some practical experience of the dwelt upon the great importance of preserving the fibre preparation of flax in Europe. On application, some of the plantain, which is so extensively cultivated for specimens of tools were sent over, as well as European its fruit, which, if too abundant, we may preserve, when seed, small quantities by the overland route, but the ripe, or prepare plantain meal from it before it is quite larger quantity by sea, and of different kinds, as Riga. So, I believe that not only will the fibre be useful for Dutch, American, English, and Irish, purchased from the cordage for ordinary purposes, but a part may be em-highly-respectable house of Wrench and Co., of Londonployed for textile purposes.
bridge. Though jute in the plains, and hemp in the Himalayas Among the results of this experiment, it is observed,
in the Society's Report, “In the course of the experi* The maand is considered equal to 82lbs. The rupee is ments of the past season, both as regards cultivation and equivalent to 2s. It contains 16 annas, each anna being 12 pie. - preparation of fax, numerous facts, of more or less importance, have been elicited. For instance, it is found tutes for flax. This is probably owing to the fibres being that much, if not all, of the linseed of Central India sent by the natives in a roughly prepared state to market. bears a white instead of a blue flower, and that the seed For there is no doubt that the fibre, when ultimately also differs materially. Also, that the flax of suitable divided, is fine and also strong enough, as we may see in Indian localities, though from Indian seed, is capable, if this specimen of the Wuckoo fibre, from Travancore, and properly sown and plucked at the right time, of pro- was formerly seen in the fibres prepared by Mr. Dickson. ducing excellent fibre, and with a moderate degree of This is still more conspicuous in the fibres which have manipulation.” This, indeed, seems to be the only been prepared by Mr. Pye, and which I gave him a few proper course to pursue, for it would hardly be possible to days ago in the rough state in which they were sent from establish any extensive culture, if it was necessary to im- India. The red bast from Pegu has been converted into port seed from Europe.
a good fibre, and we see a part has been bleached and The attempt to induce the natives of the Punjab to is almost white. cultivate linseed on a large scale and to produce flax, Mr. Pye's other specimens were, he informs me, prepared seems to have been as successful as could reasonably have from the conimercial Bombay hemp; I hope Mr. North been expected. For the breadth of land under culture will give us some information respecting this process. increased from 3,453 acres in 1853-54 to 19,039 acres in Besides these, there is another set of fibres, which I 1854-55. But though the Government had offered to will not particularise, for they are too numerous, but they buy all the seed, if no other purchasers offered, yet of are remarkable for length, softness, and silkiness ; indeed, the 150,000 maunds of seed which were calculated to in many respects, they resemble fine jute, but they are have been produced, only 11,300 maunds were brought usually stronger. These belong chiefly to the genus to be purchased by Government, the rest having been Hibiscus, some of which are cultivated on account of bought up by native merchants. The net outlay by their edible fruit. Several have been sent from Assam, Government up to January, 1856, having been others from Chota Nagpore, and Sambhulpore, from Rs. 29,657 15 7, and the year's proceeds Rs. 33,150 14 3, Bijnour and from the Deyran valley. The Urena, from giving a net surplus of Rs. 3,444 8 4. Such a favour-Pegu, but a weed in most parts of India, yields a soft able result, in the first year of an experiment, was, no jute-like fibre, which, as well as another from Tenasserim, doubt, due in part to the unusually high prices prevail. may be used for flax. Others have been sent from the ing during the war with Russia. The seed was, no doubt, opposite coast of India, that is, from Canara, whence, we of a good quality, as is most Indian linseed, from the have seen, a fine kind of hemp is produced. Some of quantity of oil it yields.
these are well worthy of cultivation. Dr. Roxburgh, 50 Some of the natives of Punjab having been in the habit years ago, recommended Hibiscus strictus for cultivation, of separating fibre flax on their own account, and so large on account of the quantity and fineness of the fibre it a breadth of land having been sown, on the government yielded. So also Abroma augusta, which he was disengaging to purchase all the seed and also fibre that was posed to call Perennial Indian Flax. These specimens are produced, if no other purchaser offered, it was expected still in the India House collection, and fresh ones have that a very large quantity of fibre would have been pro- been sent recently from Assam. The bast abounds with duced. Preparations were made by the Agricultural So- long, strong, and white silky fibres. The plant grows so ciety to receive it, and their Secretary wrote to different rapidly as to yield two, three, or even four crops of cutChambers of Commerce, informing them of the expected tings annually, fit for peeling. He obtained 271 lbs. of out-turn of flax from this new locality. These anticipa-clean fibre, which he states was three times greater than tions were not, however, realised, for the fibre which was the average produce of sunn. brought in was small in quantity, though some of it was! To prove that I do not exaggerate the importance and of good quality. The straw brought in amounted only probable extensive employment of this class of fibres, I to 2,365 maunds, some of it green, some dry; about half have only to refer to some beautifully prepared specimens had to be thrown away, and only 110 maunds of merchant- of some of these fibres, which I gave to Mr. Malcolmson, able flax were produced, and this was bought by Messrs. of Portlaw, and which he has returned me within these Harton, rope-makers, for eight rupees a maund, and sent few days. down to Calcutta. Indeed, it was hardly to be expected, Though I prefaced these observations by stating that that men who had been in the habit of thin sowing a | I would not enter too much into detail or dwell upon a plant for seed, would all at once sow it thickly enough very large number of plants, yet, as most of those to to produce good fibre, especially as prizes were to be given which I have referred are the produce of the richer soils for breadth of culture. I myself had in some measure and moister climates of India, it would be desirable to anticipated this result, for I stated, “ But while the best find something fit to give employment to those who live method of culture will be ascertained by the Society, on near the drier and more barren and desert parts of their own cultivation, it is feared that the length of stems | India. required (3 feet 6 inches) will exceed much of what may There is fortunately a plant found in great abundance in be grown by the natives (Indian Fibres, p. 196). There such parts of India, which requires no culture, can live is, however, a favourable prospect of the successful cul- without water, and abounds in fibre and a milky juice. ture of fibre in the Punjab. None of the specimens of flax This, moreover, is a plant with perennial roots, and of grown have yet reached the India House. But I have a which the stems, when cut down, spring up again, and give small sample of flax grown by Mr. Wagentreiber, in a fresh crop of fibres. These I formerly brought to your Upper Assam, and another sample sent by the Dundee notice, as remarkable for their strength. I now notice Chamber of Commerce, which is said to have been pre-them as conspicuous for their fineness, flexibility, and pared from straw grown 800 miles from Calcutta (though fitness for textile purposes, as may be seen in the sample it is not said in what direction). The Directors consider we have here, of a muslin-like handkerchief, made of the that fibre, of the quality of the sample, would be useful fibres of the Mudar, a plant which belongs to a family in the manufactures of Dundee, could it be laid down in abounding in fine and strong fibres, and of which we have this country at a price not exceeding £30 a ton; and yet several specimens in this room. The Mudar itself in the report which accompanied this article, the straw belongs to the genus Calotropis, of which there are is said to be intrinsically a very poor article, and different species in Sindh, in the West Indies, and in the quality of the finished sample also indifferent; thc Madras Peninsula, but all yield this fibre. but, nevertheless, it is a marketable article. Con-With this, however, I will only mention a very residering how frequently inquiries have been made to markable fibre, from its strength and silkiness, which grow flax, even though it should be of a coarse quality, has been sent from Upper Assam, as the produce of it appears surprising to me that some of the easily grown Paderia fætida. fibres of India should not have been employed as substi- The only fibre which remains for me to notice is one that has already been frequently brought to the no- large operations that an average of low charges can be tice of this Society, and that is the fibre known under accomplished.” the names of China-grass, Chu-Ma, Ramee, Kaloee, Suitable materials being abundant, he proposes that it Rheea, and Kankhora, which is not only well known should be reduced to the state of half-stuff by the aid of in China, but in the province of Assam in India; like the Dhenkee, already mentioned, as an instrument to wise in the Bengal districts of Rungpore and Dinage be found in almost every house in Bengal, being used for pore; in Tenasserim, Siam, Singapore, and Sumatra. husking rice, the preparation of tobacco, of drugs, dyeDr. Oxley, writing since my former communication, stuffs, and brick-dust. says it is indigenous all over the Malayan archipelago, The charges to London, including freight, insurance, grows freely at Singapore, and occurs as a secondary exchange, dock, and in fact all commercial charges, he jungle in the greatest profusion in Java ; and all that is estimates at £7 per ton weight. It is necessary to specify required is the art of preparation. The Malays have the ton weight, as the ton for freight would be only 16 always employed it for their nets and fishing-lines. cwt. The cost of half-stuff of different qualities would
Difficulties having been experienced in inducing the be about £4 4s. and £7, as contracts could be made at natives to grow more of the Rheea fibre than they re- the rate of Rs. 1 8, or 3s., to Rs., 28, or 58., per maund quire for their own fishing-lines, the Court of Directors of 82lb., deliverable at any central depôt within a radius of the East India Company ordered a few tons to be of twenty miles. The expenses of conveyance, &c., in purchased annually in each district, in order that the India, about £2 2s., and of freight to London, and other natives might, on extending the culture, always find a expenses, about £7; so that the lower quality might be ready sale for their produce on the spot, or until the quan- imported here for £13 4s., and the better quality, equal tity should be sufficient to attract the attention of to linen rags, for £16 5s. merchants.
" It would be necessary to have recourse to the usual In consequence of this order, small consignments of Indian system of making cash advances to contractors ere this Rheea fibre have been made from different districts, a pound of the goods had any existence. Such, however, the quantities of which will no doubt increase yearly. is the universal system of the country. The natives, it These will also be sold by Messrs. Noble. There have must be admitted, are wonderfully faithful on the whole been also sent a few other Rheea fibres, produced by in adhering to their bargains." other species of Urtica or Bohemeria.
“The method proposes to avail itself at once of their
own simple arts; it brings the question as nearly as posPAPER MATERIALS.
sible to the state of domestic industry, ever the most Having dwelt so long upon the subject of fibres in economical in such countries; it reduces to the lowest general, time and space will allow me to say only a few point the charge of collecting from extensive districts the words respecting their application to paper making. various elementary matters which might present them. This I the less regret, as having pointed out a mass of selves.” valuable material which may be and is actually em I believe, however, that in some parts of India, these ployed both in India and China for conversion into paper, expenses might be still further reduced, that is in places the subject is one rather for planters, merchants, and still nearer the coast, as, for instance, in Arracan, where manufacturers, than for me to follow up. My attention excellent basts and ropes made from them are sold in the was first directed to the subject in consequence of the re- bazaar of Attyat, for 1r. a maund, or 3s. per cwt. peated inquiries from paper-makers, and subsequently by Material is equally abundant in the western coast of the an official application from the Board of Trade, to point peninsula of India, where, however, water power might out any fresh sources of material for the making of paper. easily be applied to the Dhenkee or tilt hammer of India. India seemed to me, and still does appear, an unworked This would still further reduce the expense, at the same mine, from which much valuable material might be ex- / time that the work was effectually done. tracted, and I have no doubt that much will thence be Having on a former occasion, as well as in a work on imported, but in this, as in all other cases, we must adopt this subject, enumerated the various Indian fibres which means suited to the ends we have in view. It has been may be and are employed for conversion into paper, objected that India is far and freights high, that fibre- | I need do no more, on the present occasion, than state made pulp will not draw well through machinery. These that specimens of most of them are here. As an objections were as valid when the inquiries were made as instance of the ignorant objections sometimes made, one they are now. In recommending that Indian fibres writer objects to the plantain being employed for the purshould be converted into half stuff for paper makers, I pose, as he knows, from experience, that the fibre melts did not intend that the best fibres should be beaten up away, and is without substance for making into paper. Now into pulp before they had been used for other purposes, if there is one of these fibre papers that is stronger than because I hope that as these fibres can bear examination, another, and even parchmenty in character, it is the paper and will amply repay any labour that is bestowed upon made of plantain fibre. From India fresh specimens of them, that they will take a higher instead of a lower these papers have been sent, as well as some made from place in the market. But I specially directed attention fresh sources, as by Mr. Underwood, of Madras, from the to some plants which grow in wild luxuriance, and to fibre of mats, as well as from the fibre of the leaves of others which are cultivated for other purposes, and of Pandanus odoratissimus. Captain Dalton has sent from which the fibrous part is now yearly thrown away in vast Assam paper made from young bamboos. Mr. Botten some quantities. I believe that if some simple machinery made of the bark of Daphne cannabinda, from which were brought in aid, even of the cheap labour of India, Nepal paper is made. We have also some bricks of the that some of these fibres might be profitably preserved, half stuff of the same, for which I am indebted to Mr. and that the waste and tow which was obtained during Henley. Dr. Riddell has sent paper made of the fibres of their preparation might be reduced to the state of half-Dibiscus esculentus, one of the plants cultivated on stuff. As an instance of the cost at which this may be account of its fruit, being used as an article of diet. done, I would beg to quote Mr. Henley, who has fa- The plant, he says, is of quick growth and easy of cul. voured us with a paper on this subject, published in the ture, and produces a very strong and serviceable paper. volume of the Society's Journal for 1854.
In this country we had specimens of paper made from He there observes :-" It is to India we must look for the jute of India, of different qualities, and fit for vari. extensive and cheap supplies, for it is there alone we find ous purposes, by Mr. Hollingworth, of Maidstone. The the necessary conditions of very low-priced and intelligent expence of bleaching he finds to be a very small labour, with an abundance of elementary suitable ma- per centage above the expense of bleaching other mateterials; and that as articles of small price are particularly rials. Mr. Routledge, I know, has for several years been sensitive of charges, such as of freight, &c., it is only by employed in experiments on making paper from fibres.