In un lungo articolo di BBC Future, Zaria Gorvett parla di un tessuto che un tempo diede scandalo per la sua trasparenza e ora è completamente scomparso: la mussola di Dhaka.
Made via an elaborate, 16-step process with a rare cotton that only grew along the banks of the holy Meghna river, the cloth was considered one of the great treasures of the age. It had a truly global patronage, stretching back thousands of years – deemed worthy of clothing statues of goddesses in ancient Greece, countless emperors from distant lands, and generations of local Mughal royalty.
Still, Dhaka muslin was a hit – with those who could afford it. It was the most expensive fabric of the era, with a retinue of dedicated fans that included the French queen Marie Antoinette, the French empress Joséphine Bonaparte and Jane Austen. But as quickly as this wonder-cloth struck Enlightenment Europe, it vanished.
Lo Smithsonian Magazine discute degli sforzi di ricercatori e artigiani per ricreare questo tessuto:
“I talked to many researchers and craftsmen, and realized that there hasn’t been much research done on this famed piece of fabric,” Saiful Islam, head of Bengal Muslin and former CEO of Drik, tells Rafi Hossain of Bangladeshi newspaper Daily Star. “This isn’t just a fabric for us, it is our culture and history, and the knowledge about it is at the risk of becoming obsolete.”
Degli sforzi per ricreare la mussola di Dhaka parla anche Al Jazeera:
The quest to bring back Bangladeshi muslin began with a painstaking five-year search for the specific flower used to weave the fabric, which only grows near the capital, Dhaka.
“Muslin can’t be woven without Phuti carpus cotton. So to revive Dhaka muslin, we needed to find this rare and possibly extinct cotton plant,” said Monzur Hossain, the botanist who led the effort.