IICT intervenes through tech support for revival
DYING CARPET INDUSTRY OF KASHMIR
Srinagar, Feb 8: The Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) is attempting to bring back the grandeur which once the carpets of Kashmir had and this is being doing by adopting latest techniques in sync with old methods that made the rug saleable throughout the world.
Situated at Nalbal in Nowshehra on a short distance from Baghe-Ali-Mardan Khan Industrial Estate, the IICT, Srinagar, was established by the office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Union Ministry of Textiles and the Department of Industries and Commerce (Directorate of Handicrafts), government of J&K.
“The institute was basically started in 2004 at Kral Sangri on a rented accommodation and the activities too were limited,” said Zubair Ahmad Mir, director IICT.
“Then it was shifted to Srinagar in August 2006 and was formerly inaugurated by chief minister Omar Abdullah and the then Union Minister of Textiles Shankersinh Vaghela in June 2008,” he said.
The IICT—an autonomous institute—is a satellite centre of Institute of Carpet Technology , Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh.
Unlike others, the IICT is meant exclusively for carpets. Since its inception, already over 200 people have been trained in different aspects of carpet industry from this institute. Around 70 per cent of the trainees in the institute are females. The institute has an overall staff of 14 persons.
“The purpose of establishing the institute was to provide a technical support to the carpet industry of the state and its people in terms of various activities,” said Mir.
The institute possesses a design studio, a library, chemical laboratory, physical laboratory, display room and a class room workshop.
“In design studio, we prepare different designs of carpets on computers. It means we see in advance what we are going to make and then weave carpets accordingly,” said Mir.
“Then we also show our customers various carpet designs on computers. They make the selection as per their choice and satisfaction. They may also show us pictures of some designs, which then we edit according to their choice,” he said.
Display room provides display of various innovative things made of carpets, like purses, curtains, cushion covers, mirror frames, wall hangings and what not.
In chemical laboratory, they do both chemical and natural dying on nominal charges according to the choice of the consumers in addition to chemical analysis of fiber.
And in physical laboratory, they test the quality of the yarn, like its purity, count, twist and so on. Microscopic analysis is also done here.
“For testing the quality of dying, there are a couple of tests, which are not available to anybody else here, like colour fastness to rubbing and washing, how they will behave, etc. These are available at nominal charges,” said Mir.
He said colour recipes of any given shade can be obtained with the help of latest technology equipment called Computer Colour Matching Spectrophotometer that has been imported from Singapore . Proper colour matching with that of the target shade can be ensured with the help of the same equipment, he said.
“We want to develop a quality culture here, for only this can survive the carpet industry in the days to come,” he said.
He said dying of raw material was done under controlled conditions with the help of Hank Dyeing Machine, which eventually ensured the quality of dyeing. “The machine has a cycle of three hours and a capacity of seven to 10 kg. Whatever shade is needed by someone can be ensured by this institute, and again the facility is available at nominal charges,” Mir said.
Hayata of Soura, a trainee in the institute, said, “Earlier we did not know anything about textiles and dying technology, but now we know everything. We can now even differentiate between natural and chemical dyes, and this knowledge can prove quite useful.”
“We always wanted to get stand on our own. By attaining training from this institute, we can even start our own unit and thus benefit ourselves,” added Khalida, another trainee.
The library offers various books and journals along with other relevant published material pertaining to various aspects of the subject.
“Whatever we do in the institute, we make a record of that and keep it for referencing for others in the library,” said the librarian.
“Then we have also subscribed to various journals from USA, Germany and other countries, so that subscribers would be able to know what the latest trends in other parts of the world are, and hence can take references from those magazines,” she said.
Mir said anybody related to this field, be it an artisan or manufacturer, can come to the institute and avail the facilities of their library.
“Then they can tell us what designs they need and accordingly we make those designs for them on nominal charges. It is a no profit no loss business,” he said.
The institute also lends design workstations that are equipped with Carpet Design Software, scanners, printers and so on and backed up with uninterrupted power supply to provide the modern facilities to the interested persons.
“Everybody does not have computer at home, so we are here to provide that facility to them. Suppose we train somebody here, but what will do afterwards if he does not have a computer, a printer, generator and other facilities available? That means he has to make another investment of Rs 2 or 3 lakh,” Mir said.
“For these people, we have made design workstations, so that they will avail the facilities of the design software from the institute itself. All their work will be saved here and they will also be given a password for their privacy,” he said.
For this facility, he said, they are charging rentals of Rs 1,000 per month, “even if the subscribers make designs worth Rs 15,000 a month.”
This is not end to it. “For future, we are thinking of in terms of more long term training programmes. We have already given a proposal to the government of India for full-fledged 3-year diploma courses in dying technology and finishing technology,” he said.
He said there was a dearth of dying professionals in Kashmir . Most of dyers, he said, were not using scientific methods for dyeing and instead still used traditional methods. “Hence this course is very much needed here and has got a very good scope as well,” he said.
He said a complete project for the implementation of ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System has been undertaken during 2008-09. So far, the basic work, which includes awareness regarding ISO certification, interactions with the employees of the institute, discussions regarding the existing formats and the records maintained by the institute.
He said they have also applied for the registration of Modular Employable Skills (MES) of the Department of Labour and Employment, government of India.
“Once we are registered, the National Vocational Training Institute will issue a certificate—that is valid allover the world—to the artisans who receive training from this institute, by which whosoever is passed, whole of his fees will be reimbursed, he said.
He said they were also thinking in terms of R&D for washing of carpets, “for there is no standardization of methods available for washing in Kashmir.”
“It is important that whatever you do, it should not be done at the cost of the quality. But people here use chemicals without considering its side-effects on the quality and properties of the fibre that is ultimately bad for the industry,” he said.
He said they have already conveyed to the Northern India Textile Research Association (NITRA) that they will be doing standardization of process of dying.
“Training is alright, but ultimately we want our artisans to be self-dependent,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 9 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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