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Surat's zari craft earns GI status
Nov '10
Next to 'Tangaliya', Surat's zari making craft too has been accorded with Geographical Indication (GI) status. Granting of the GI status to this centuries-old fabulous and shimmering craft has offered it with the much sought after protection from its breach. The Geographical Indication office based in Chennai has recently bestowed the district's art with the GI status. This measure has brought delight to around one and a half lakh people, directly or indirectly depending on the industry for their livelihood.

The Geographical Indication signifies the place of origin of a product and assigns it the distinctive quality, uniqueness and reputation.

Granting of such GI status to the zari craft of Surat, would impede others from replicating the work. This zari craft of Surat district is one of its oldest industries, and is very much connected with the price fluctuations in gold and silver, which are used to prepare it.

'Zari' is a kind of yarn prepared by using delicate gold or silver wires which are used in conventional Indian and Pakistani apparels. This yarn is then interlaced mainly into silk fabrics to create complex designs.

Zari producers from China and some from within the country were dumping fake zari in Indian markets. This is when the Textile Committee of FICCI and the Surat 'Zari' industry felt it necessary to safeguard original zari from encroachment, by way of getting it identified as a unique product under the Geographical Indications Act, and thus filed an application for getting GI status for it in 2009.

Surat's zari industry should, at present, consider expanding its manufacturing activities and upgrading the technology, while working for the betterment of the product quality.

As GI guarantees a collective right to the Surat's 'Zari' community which is lead by the Rana community, this is seen to greatly advantage the 'Zari' craft which dates back to almost 16th century, and the craftsmen by assisting them to earn their livelihood.

As revealed by a data, Surat alone houses over 500 composite or semi-composite zari producing units, together with some 3,000 small household units involved in manufacturing real, imitation and plastic zari.

Fibre2fashion News Desk-India

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