Product development and identification of new end uses in the Jute industry are taking place in developing products for decorative end uses, developing packing materials and materials for specialized uses.
Decorative Jute Goods: New bleaching and dyeing processes can now ensure fastness if color and whiteness in Jute products. This has made possible the use of jute fabrics in wall coverings, furnishings, Table mats, hand bags etc. The unique character of these jute based product has captured the fascination of the overseas customers and this has resulted in the development of a lucrative export market.
Fire Retardant Fabrics: In order to satisfy the increasingly stringent safety regulations in the Western countries, a special process has been developed to specially treat jute fabrics for various degrees of fire retardant properties. One potential use for such specially treated jute fabrics is in the form of a barrier fabric used in upholstered furniture. There is also scope in marketing fire retardant walk covering fabrics.
Wool pack for Australian Market, India enjoyed a substantial export market in Australian for heavy duty jute bags of box shape, which were used for packing raw wool. Since late 1960s, this market gradually due to the introduction of lightweight synthetic packs. With a view to regaining this lost market, a new pack of lighter construction and better finish but at the same time of equal mechanical strength as of the old one, has been developed by IJIRA. Because of the reported contamination problem of wool with synthetic fiber, a renewed interest in jute wool packs was shown in Australia recently and a sizable quantity of new wool packs was shown in Australia firm India.
Cotton Bagging in USA: A very coarse type of jute netting had been in use in the USA for many years for rapping bales of raw cotton. In the early 1970s a synthetic substitute product. Developed in that country threatened the market for jute seriously. Through continuous research over the years backed by fields trials conducted in the USA. IJIRA has been able to develop a much lighter netting of better finish compared to the conventional one of the satisfaction of the American buyers. More talk in this direction has been in progress for regaining the share of this market already lost.
Some products are subject to rapid obsolescence. In fact, no product is completely immune to obsolescence due to (1) continuous changes in demand patterns, (2) growth of substitutes, and (3) progressive competition. Again technological developments may lead to a complete elimination/change of the product, for example, valves have given way to transistors.
There is no guarantee that a product once successfully developed, launched and introduced, will continue to be successful and profitable unless steps are taken to review periodically and upgrade the product itself and its presentation. What is needed, therefore, is a consistent policy of innovation and development. For example, Levi Strauss – jeans people—have moved into an entire line of moderately priced casual and semi formal garments. More Levi Strauss labels are appearing on shoes, wallets, luggage, briefcase etc.
Take the case of Indian Handicrafts from the state of Rajasthan. Silver enameled and crafted jewelry from Jaipur and Nathdwara, Paintings depicting Royal Processions or on Folklore, Blue Pottery again Painted by hand by crafty workers are all in demand. Every year during the months of October to March Tourists from all over the world visit Rajathan’s cities of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur to buy and place business order of these handicrafts. Tie and Dye textiles in the form of wrap around skirts and Kaftans are also fascinated by U.S and European Tourists. The craftsmen change the pattern almost every year maintaining traditional Royal out look and attract buyers. Container loads of these products are exported throughout the year.