Muslin, whenever mentioned, takes us back to the pre-colonial age - an era most commonly remembered as the golden era embraced with heritage and treasures. Made from the finest cotton available in Bengal, Muslin was synonymous to class and elegance due to the intricacy and lustrousness of the fabric. But with time the Muslin trade and the techniques of weaving the magnificent fabric is lost to us.
But an endearing challenge has been undertaken by the government of Bangladesh to revive the lost art of Muslin. A project has been announced by Bangladesh Handloom Board under the supervision of Ministry of Textiles and Jute from January 2016 to December 2017 regarding this purpose. The project will facilitate necessary research to rediscover the crafting techniques of the thread and hopefully regenerate the fabric admired and coveted by Kings and Queens. With a budget of more than 12 crores taka, a committee of three members has been formed. The committee will be led by Professor Dr Md. Monjur Hossain, Director of Institute of Biological Science, Rajshahi University. The other two members are Dr M Firoz Alam of Department of Botany and Dr Md. Mustafizur Rahman Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Extension, both faculty members of Rajshahi University.
The researchers will search for Fhuti Corps cotton, historically mentioned to be grown around the Dhaka region and the key ingredient for making premium quality Muslin. According to the press release made by Bangladesh Handloom Board, if the specimen is not found then cotton of similar quality will be imported in order to facilitate the research.
Our Honorable Prime-Minister Sheikh Hasina was the one in 2014 who initiated the idea of reviving Muslin. It is due to her very strong support and determination that we are now seeing dedicated effort to bring back our heritage from the realms of past.