SRINAGAR — The Department of Handicrafts and Handloom has submitted the dossier for registration of Kashmir Tweed to Intellectual Property India, Chennai, an apex-level organization for the registration and better protection of geographical indications relating to goods in India.
The Director, Handicrafts and Handloom, (H&H) Kashmir, while commenting on the downswing of the centuries-old craft of weaving Tweed, said that the GI certification of Kashmir Tweed will give a fresh impetus to the craft. The primary goal of registering it is to seek protection for Tweed of Kashmir, which further promotes and pushes it to grow on a global scale.
“The department felt it necessary to get Kashmir Tweed recognized on national and international markets owing to its uniqueness of having 100 per cent wool unlike the one produced in the rest of the country where it has also the blend of viscose,” said Director H&H, adding that Tweed cloth is available across the globe. In Kashmir, it has been in the market for centuries.
Initially produced in parts of south Kashmir, mostly in the Pulwama district, a number of areas in Kashmir periphery adopted this art to manage the requirements of the UT. Tweed is being produced in parts of north and central Kashmir like Bandipora and Budgam as well.
“There is not much difference between the famous Harris Tweed and the Kashmir Tweed, however, Kashmir Tweed could not have much presence in the global markets because of processing deficiencies and branding,” said Director H&H. By registering Kashmir Tweed for GI, it is expected that all the stakeholders involved shall get benefitted, he added.
UT of J&K already has two major facilities for processing the wool, one at UNDP under the ambit of the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir and another facility at JKI which has been at the forefront in ensuring a sustained supply of raw material as well as manufacturing of Tweed in the valley.
The Handicrafts and Handloom Department has been facilitating the promotion of GI-tagged products, symbolizing the empowerment of the artisans. These initiatives are aimed to help recognize and promote age-old crafts and methods that are otherwise in danger of being lost due to urbanization and industrialization.
So far, seven major crafts from Kashmir namely Kani Shawl, Pashmina, Sozni, Paper-Machie, Walnut Wood Carving, Khatamband, and Hand Knotted Carpets have already been GI certified. Besides, the process of GI registration of seven more crafts viz., Kashmir Namda, Wagguv, Shikara, Gabba, Kashmir Willow Bat, Crewel and Chain Stitch is already under process and the dossier for GI certification of all these crafts has been submitted with the GI authorities in Chennai.
The Department of Handicrafts and Handloom for the last two years has been continuously upgrading the testing and labelling facilities for GI certification of different crafts and because of the aggressive promotion of GI certification of different crafts by the Department, a huge number of manufacturers and exporters are approaching the department for testing and labelling of the GI certified products.
The Department is also in process of launching the QR-Code-based GI labelling of six crafts as QR-Code-GI labelling for Carpets was already initiated, and additionally, non-GI crafts will also be brought under the ambit of QR code labelling, said Director H&H.
Moreover, the visitors have also shown much interest in purchasing exclusive GI-certified crafts post these efforts of promoting Geographical Indication throughout the country and away.