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GI certificate to help Lamphun silk regain lost glory
Jan '09
Lamphun is a province, 600 kms from Bangkok in the northern part of Thailand. The province is famous for its brocade silk worn by the kings and queens of Thailand. The materials used for weaving are silk thread, silver, gold brocade and dyes which were ordered from other countries.

The method of production had many steps. Basically it is woven on handlooms and the yarn is spun at home by the spinners. Each step required high technical skills and was complicated, especially, the step of inserting flower design, was one of the most difficult steps and needed a skilful workman. But high cost prices of vital raw materials and not getting remunerative returns is turning the new generation away from the trade.

Cheap counterfeits which cannot be identified by a normal customer except for by a discerning one is also leading to a downfall in the sales of the beautiful fabric material. But September 2007 proved to be a watershed year for the artisans of the Lamphun silk. The Lamphun silk was awarded the Geographic Indication (GI) certificate which will go a long way in bolstering the faltering industry.

The Geographic Indication certificate is a little known form of Intellectual property rights and was awarded to the Lamphun silk in October 2007, by the Intellectual Property Rights Department of Thailand. This certificate implies that Lamphun silk produced only in Lamphun province has the right to be called so. This GI certificate will help in reducing counterfeits of the silk to an extent if not fully.

The weavers of the silk will be able to extract remunerative prices with the help of the GI certificate and will also help in increasing their income along with helping the traditional textile craft survive for more generations.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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