Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi said that if the method of making muslin, which was revived through government research in 2021, cannot be commercialized, the success will be called into doubt.
The researchers faced a lot of hardship over the lengthy, difficult process, he noted.
The minister was addressing a seminar on the revival and potential of investment organized by Bangladesh Handloom Board at Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation in the capital’s Agargaon.
A medium-quality muslin sari took roughly seven months to manufacture, and as a result, its price is extremely costly and out of the reach of the average person, he claimed.
Questions will be raised if the general public is unable to acquire muslin. Therefore, muslin should be kept within the reach of the average person through commercial production. The research won’t be wholly successful until that point, he claimed.
He also said that if the private sector gets involved in the commercialization of muslin, they will be able to produce products of various design.
In 2021, a government team of experts restored the lost muslin yarn technology that had been utilized to produce extremely delicate garments that were highly sought-after around the world in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Muslin woven by Dhaka weavers during the ancient and medieval periods became a prestige symbol for the wealthy and aristocracy. The researchers discovered that muslin exports brought in Tk 28.5 lakh in 1747.
During a visit to the Ministry of Textiles and Jute in October 2014, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested that the Tk 12.1 crore revival project be created.
“The muslin we have made is 99% similar to the cloth preserved in the UK’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Museum in Bangladesh,” said M Monzur Hossain, chief scientist of the project titled.
The ongoing project is titled Bangladesh’s Golden Tradition Muslin Yarn Making Technology and Recovery of Muslin Fabrics (Phase I).
According to Ayub Ali, project director and chief planning officer at the Bangladesh Handloom Board, a muslin sari with no designs can now be purchased for Tk 6,15,840, while one with medium designs costs Tk 8,45,640.
He claimed that one with a complex design would cost Tk 11,50,740.
State Minister for Planning Shamsul Alam said that the price needs to be lowered so that more people may afford it.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, the country’s traditional handloom industry now has the potential for sustainable growth and expansion thanks to the acquisition of the geographical indicator certificate and patent for muslin.
He stated that steps must be taken to broadcast this accomplishment throughout the world in order to improve Bangladesh’s reputation in the international community.
Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said that the use of muslin cannot spread if it is not commercially viable.
All kinds of cooperation will be given for the promotion of muslin products, he added.
If the use of fabric is not diversified, it will not survive, said Bangladeshi fashion designer and former international model Bibi Russell.