500-yr-old Kutchi shawl gets GI tag

The colourful Kutchi shawl,woven with motifs in one solid colour throughout,has been granted the Geographical Indication tag,a move likely to benefit its traditional weavers in the Kutch region of Gujarat.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Published: March 13, 2012 4:14:10 am

The colourful Kutchi shawl,woven with motifs in one solid colour throughout,has been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag,a move likely to benefit its traditional weavers in the Kutch region of Gujarat.

“We have been granted the GI tag for our Kutchi shawls,which are famous worldwide. The tag will give a push to its marketing and also help check cheap imitation in other parts of the nation,” president of Kutch Weavers Association (KWA) Gabhubhai Vankar said.

The GI registration of this shawl will assure buyers of quality and distinctiveness essentially attributed to the place of its origin in a defined geographical locality.

“This tag will help over 1,200 weavers of Vankar and Meghwal samaaj in the Kutch region spread across 210 villages,” Vankar said,adding Kutch is the only regional cluster of weavers in India that can create intricate motifs in thicker yarns of wool,cotton and silk.

There are currently 1,200 weavers who work in 210 villages of Kutch of which 800-900 practise the craft full-time. Around 2,400 women are engaged in preparatory and finishing processes,the GI application stated.

The market for these shawls has been appropriated by cheap industrial imitations of their intricate designs by factories in Ludhiana,a KWA member said.

The shawls made of acrylic wool are dyed and have one solid bright colour throughout.

“The shawl is woven with traditional Kutchi motifs and is processed on handlooms largely in Bhujodi,a village of Kutch,” Vankar said,adding that villages like Gambudi,Manukna,Bundra,Tukma also house communities of such shawl weavers. The Kutchi shawls are sold in domestic markets and are exported as well to countries like US and Europe,among others. A 500-year-old history is linked with the weaving of Kutchi shawls in Gujarat.

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