The Department of Handicrafts and Handloom (H&H) Kashmir has submitted the dossier for registration of two more crafts viz. Crewel and Chain-stitch to Intellectual Property India, Chennai, an apex body for the registration and better protection of geographical indications (GI) relating to goods in India.

Already the Department of Handicrafts and Handloom has submitted the dossier for GI registration of five crafts viz, Kashmir Namda, Wagguv, Shikara, Gabba, and Kashmir Willow Bat.

The Director, H&H Kashmir, while highlighting the significance of the GI certification of Crewel and Chain-stitch, said that the department is working hard to get more crafts from Kashmir under the ambit of GI certification so that the genuine handmade Kashmir Handicrafts will get due recognition across the globe.

Kashmir Handicrafts

He said there are more than 10,000 craftsmen associated with the twin crafts of Crewel and Chain-stitch scattered over different districts of the Kashmir region and they all shall get benefitted from the GI certification of these crafts. These crafts have an export potential of more than Rs 200 crores, he added.

GI advantage

Geographical indication tagging has acquired a greater significance ever since the focus has shifted towards Vocal for Local. The H&H department has been facilitating the promotion of GI-tagged products symbolizing the empowerment of the artisans.

GI tagging
social media

These initiatives are aimed to help recognize and promote age-old crafts and methods that are otherwise in danger of being lost due to urbanization and industrialization, Director H&H said.

It is worth mentioning here that machine-made products have implied a challenge to the entire Handicraft and Handloom sectors, however, the GI certification will go a long way in preserving the crafts as well as facilitating buyers in making the purchase of genuine handmade products.

Seven crafts are already GI-certified, and five are in the pipeline

Seven major crafts from Kashmir namely Kani Shawl, Pashmina, Sozni, Paper-Machie, Walnut Wood Carving, Khatamband, and Hand Knotted Carpets have already been GI certified.

Besides, the process of GI registration of five more crafts viz., Kashmir Namda, Wagguv, Shikara, Gabba and Kashmir Willow Bat is already under process and the dossier for GI certification of all these crafts has been submitted with the GI authorities in Chennai last month.

One of the major success stories in recent times for crewel and chain stitch has come from Noor Ari a women-led Producer Company, has recently collaborated with Fab India, an international brand to provide various crewel and chain stitch items.

Kashmir Handicrafts
J&K Govt

The Department of H&H for the last two years has been continuously upgrading the testing and labeling facilities for GI certification of different crafts and because of the aggressive promotion of GI certification of different crafts by the Department, a huge number of manufacturers and exporters are approaching the department for testing and labeling of the GI certified products.

The Department is also in process of launching the QR-Code-based GI labelling of 6 crafts as QR-Code-GI labeling for Carpets was already initiated last year. Additionally, non-GI crafts will also be brought under the ambit of QR code Labeling.

Moreover, the visitors have also shown much interest in purchasing exclusive GI-certified crafts post these efforts of promoting Geographical Indication throughout the country and away.