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Traditional way of producing Pashmina facing survival pangs
Dec '08
Ending two years of litigation the Kashmir Handmade Pashmina Promotion Trust (KHPPT) and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) on one hand, and the Crafts Development Institute (CDI) and the Tahafuz, on the other, resolved their differences leading to the award of Geographical Indications of Goods patent to Kashmir Pashmina on September 12, 2008.

But the moot question on each and every Kashmir's lips is will bagging the goods patent help in development of trade of Pashmina products. For years the Pashmina trade has been neglected by each and every successive government and also mainly due to an influx of counterfeit products.

The manufacturing of Pashmina fabric, which was more of a household industry since centuries, with women doing the spinning yarn activities and the men weaving the fabric on the handloom, is now being produced on mechanized machines, which has led to a deluge of artisans from the Pashmina industry.

The second biggest hurdle according to experts is the numerous counterfeit Pashmina products available at cheap prices. The customers are not able to discern between a genuine Pashmina product and a counterfeit one, leading to an influx of the cheaper variety.

All these and numerous other factors are driving out the traditional artisans out of the business and forcing them to look for alternative sources of employment. There is a very likelihood of the artisans as well as the traditional form of producing Pashmina shawl, scarves and other products facing extinction in a few decades if the government does not take notice.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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