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Kanchipuram silk sari losing its sheen
Dec '09
Kanchipuram silk sari is an integral part of every South Indian girl's wardrobe. Globalization has made these silk fabrics available all over the world.

75% of the population in Kanchipuram makes their livelihood by weaving this fabric. The town has an annual turnover of more than Rs.200 crores with exports comprising around Rs.3 crores.

Despite of its global popularity, the future of the silk industry is vague. Practices of fobbing the customers with saris woven with chemical zaris flooding the market with low cost saris are followed which poses a threat to the real craftsmen.

These saris are sold in the market under the label 'Kanchipuram saris' which is likely to damage the goodwill of the original saris.

The town does not manufacture silk or other material used in the production of the sari. The zari used in the sari is made in Tamil Nadu, but the silver wire needed for its weaving is brought from Surat as the technique behind its making is held secretly by some families over there.

This makes the process time consuming and costly. Price of raw silk has increased by 60% during the recent months, while the zari cost has soared up to 200%. The industry requires diversification to add value added products to go with the consumers changing attitudes.

Pure inland silk production should be undertaken, and raw silk should be imported through authorized Government channels with minimum custom duty. Furthermore, zari should be distributed at subsidized rates to the weavers.

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Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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