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Need for IP protection for handloom weavers: Irani
Dec '16
There’s a need to introduce intellectual property (IP) protection for handloom weavers of India, opined Union textiles minister Smriti Irani at a handloom conference recently held in New Delhi. She also said that handloom is the country’s legacy and its potential needs to be positioned and acknowledged not only domestically, but also globally.

At the Creating Handloom 2.0 conference ‘Realising the potential of the Indian Handloom Industry’ organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Irani emphasised that every weaver has their unique designs and craftsmanship which needs to be protected and acknowledged. It is important to ensure a framework where intellectual protection rights can be introduced and ensured for handloom weavers.

“Handloom is not an area of select few. When the industry comes together with the weaver, an expeditious journey can take place,” said Irani.

She cited the example of domestic retail brand Biba that procured 2 lakh metres of handloom cloth in August and introduced two new collections in November. She also emphasised in the need for product development in the sector and informed that under ‘India handloom brand’ launched by the Prime Minister, 60 natural dyes and chemical free dyes have been registered so far.

In his keynote address at the conference, Alok Kumar, development commissioner – handlooms, ministry of textiles, “With structured interventions in skills, technology, design and innovation, branding and marketing, the sector has potential to scale up to a market size of about Rs 4 lakh crore from estimated size of 1 lakh crore at present in next 6-7 years. This would further help in releasing a 5-7 times higher wages to the artisans. With proper branding and publicity of the sector the exports can be scaled up at least 4 to 5 times in next 5 years.”

“Taking Indian handlooms global would require a demonetisation kind of steps for the handloom sector. Exploring endless possibilities of product innovation along with steps towards enhancing the quality and standards and effective branding of the handloom sector will be essential for taking handlooms global,” said Jaya Jaitly , founder and president, Dastkari Haat Samiti.

“India is a ‘treasure trove ‘of design and innovation for fashion industry offering a gamut of unique varieties in jewels, textiles, handlooms and dyes for the industry. I started doing fashion designing 25 years ago, my first collection was in khadi. Khadi is a national fabric,” said Ritu Beri, advisor, Khadi and Village Industries Commission.

“Time for building brand India is now and this will require all the levers is skills, product development, technology, and marketing to take Indian handlooms to global level,” said Gautam Nair, co chairman – CII national committee on apparel & managing director of Matrix Clothing. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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