posted in: Blog | 12

There’s currently an exhibition of “21st century jute” at the Verdant Works. Verdant Works is a former mill turned museum of the jute industry and it’s a rather good one at that. So being on staycation this week, the Bookers paid a visit to VW to see the exhibition (and take advantage of the tea shop, of course).

The intention of the exhibition seemed to be to send us away thinking of jute as the eco-friendly wonder-fibre we have all been waiting for: natural, durable and yet bio-degradable, and suitable for every kind of product you can think of (not just the sacks of yore). It’s certainly made a big comeback as the carrier bag fabric of choice now that plastic is considered Shameful.

I’m quite positively inclined towards jute in general, and it does make a pretty good carrier bag, but I noticed that there was an awful lot they didn’t mention. There was a display of jute rugs, jute cushions and a really natty jute-upholstered armchair (by Chairman & Son), all of which looked fantastic. But if you’ve ever had a jute rug (or anything jute in the house at all) then you will know that (a) you get jutey dust all over everything in the vicinity and (b) if anything gets onto the jute, it’s had it. Now, the clever people making things out of jute in the 21st century may well have come up with ways to deal with this. Sofas and things are often treated with Stuff to repel spills, for instance, so perhaps jute things are being handled the same way – but might that not make them a bit less eco-superb? I have no idea, which is why I would really like to be told about such things, and an exhibition about jute seems like the perfect opportunity. I’m certainly not going to be buying a jute jacket or a jute beach bag (not at this price!) on the basis of what I learned today.

I might, however, buy a jute coffin. That strikes me as pretty neat and something I’d consider. I’ve rather been fancying one of those felt eco-pods: since I can’t wear wool while I’m alive, I thought I might make up for that when I’m dead. However, it’s nice to have a range of options.

I’m not dead yet, but I am getting older. We’ll be tucking into this tomorrow:

It was too hard to choose between the purple sugar and the chocolate stars. “Less is more” is a nonsense when it comes to cake.

jute” was posted by Cally on 12 July 2011 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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12 Responses

  1. Meg in Nelson
    | Reply

    Happy birthday, and good on your purple & star cake!

  2. Sandra Rude
    | Reply

    Oh my. I can’t force myself to put “Lanvin” and “jute” into the same sentence together, much less put them together as the title for a handbag that expensive! We had jute carrier bags at the regional weaving conference one year, and I carried it about 10 minutes before escorting it to the nearest trash bin, because it abraded my clothing severely, and had the audacity (as you noted) to shed fiber all over me. Nasty stuff. I think I’d choose felt over a jute shroud any day. At least it’s soft!

    • Cally
      | Reply

      I have my doubts about that bag – one of the things I would have liked more information on! The fibre was very glossy and a much lighter shade than the other jute items on display. I felt pretty sure they must have blended it with something – flax, perhaps, or even silk? – to get that colour and sheen. Either that or they have come up with a miracle process which they weren’t sharing!

  3. Sheila in Kelowna
    | Reply

    Happy birthday Cally!

    We visited the Verdant Works in 2003 and I brought home some samples. I have a hard time featuring it as upholstery or anything else that touches your clothes! But it was a great tour of the old mill.

  4. marion berkhout
    | Reply

    I agree with you on the cake 🙂 Happy birthday.

  5. Martha
    | Reply

    Love the cake, eat a piece from each side! Happy Natal Day!

  6. Margreet
    | Reply

    Happy Birthday Cally. Enjoy your lovely cake, it looks gorgeous.

  7. Cally
    | Reply

    Thanks everyone! We have just been tucking in and it’s a recipe I’d recommend (Nigella Lawson’s old-fashioned chocolate cake, or near enough).

  8. Kerstin
    | Reply

    about the bag: there is one of two possible things to learn here: either – making jute bags for sale would make us rich! or – with the name Lanvin you can sell anything…

    FWIW, I think hemp might be a better choice, if linen is for some reason to be avoided.

  9. Trapunto
    | Reply

    That last link is probably the most interesting one I’ve clicked on all week. No, all year.

    Happy getting older! It’s a planetary ring and stars, right?

    • Cally
      | Reply

      The purple sugar was meant to be the milky way – which we all know to be purple, don’t we?

  10. neki rivera
    | Reply

    catch up mode here. belated happy b’day!!
    treasuring some very fine jute yarn cone. lovely stuff!

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