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.