Patola as sponge has long been known in this country, but abroad, they are just beginning to know its use, and have learned to like it. Patola is sewn on a piece of cloth that serves as a handle for rubbing. Because of this, luffa or matured patola is in demand abroad, but we cannot meet this demand. Australian asks for a million pieces, to be sold in drug stores and department stores as sponge, 30×6 cm sizes. This is flat, but expands when put in water. The U.S. gets its supply from Korea (from where luffa is supplied by a certain “Luffa King” because of his extensive luffa plantation for the purpose), by Japan, China and some other countries.
In France, they like luffa as a natural beautifier and cleanser. In Germany, their import of luffa is as natural as DM 1.83 million from Egypt, Greece, Japan, Cuba, USA, Tinisia, France, Netherlands, Italy, Great Britain and Lebanon. Thus, if we can produce enough patola for export, it will mean bringing in dollars to our country, without much competition.
Manner of Preparation
- Let the patola grow mature before harvesting.
- Remove the peel and shake off the seeds. It could be easier to clean this by boiling first, but this will diminish the coarseness for rubbing.
- Dry in the sun for two days (in Summer) or 4-5 days in rainy weather. It can also be dried in the oven but the quality is inferior to that which is sun dried. Its whiteness is less.
- Wash to clean and soften. Bleach to make it white.
- Dry in the sun again 3-5 days. Now, the patola becomes wider, softer, and milk colored.
- Cut into desired sizes (according to customers taste).
- Seal in plastic bag.