Authorities ban manufacturing of Pashmina, Kani products on power looms in Srinagar for 1 year

Artisans, weavers welcome decision
Authorities ban manufacturing of Pashmina, Kani products on power looms in Srinagar for 1 year

To safeguard the interests of artisans, authorities have imposed a one year ban on manufacture of Pashmina and Kani products on power looms within the jurisdiction of Srinagar district.

An order issued by Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, ShahidIqbal Choudhary says the ban will be implemented with immediate effect addingthat the step was taken after complaints from genuine Kashmir art weavers thatmany "units were operating in Srinagar to manufacture Pashmina and Kaniproducts without using 100 percent Pashmina".

"I district magistrate Srinagar in exercise of powers vestedin me by virtue of section 144 of Cr PC hereby impose restrictions onmanufacture of Pashmina and Kani products on power looms within jurisdiction ofSrinagar for a period of one year in the first instance," read the order.

It also stated that the power looms were following apractice of using nylon with Pashmina which was against the "traditional valuesof this handicraft,"

Artisan associations have in the past demanded ban on makingof Pashmina products on power looms.

Welcoming the ban, Showkat Mir, general secretary, GenuineKashmir Cottage Handicraft Protection Forum said it was a representation fromthis umbrella body that government has acted on. He said the ban must beextended to rest of the Valley as well. Mir told Greater Kashmir that more than40 power looms, mostly located in industrial areas, which are "meant forproducing count Ruffle are weaving Pashmina instead".

"Mushrooming growth of power looms and spinning mills whichare producing pashmina has rendered more than 4 lakh artisans across Kashmirjobless. This order will help the weavers heave a sigh of relief," said Mir.

The Pashmina weavers said spinning plants add nylon withpashmina which adversely affects the quality. "Once the cloth is ready,carbonised acid is spread on it which majorly affects the quality and life ofthe pashmina," said another weaver.

"Lakhs of households are dependent on handmade Pashminaproducts and it is welcome step that government is concerned with this realityby not allowing weaving of pashmina and kani products on power looms," Mirsaid.

He said a huge number of women used to be associated withhandmade Pashmina who have been now deprived of their livelihood adding that"pro-weaver decision will infuse life in Pashmina weaving,".

"A large fraternity of handmade weavers, mostly located inShahr-e-Khaas have been adversely hit by power looms.  Tral, Pulwama, Nowgam are some of the hubs ofPashmina weaving where handmade weaving used to take place. While handmadeweavers can make half of a Pashmina shawl in one day but machines producehundreds of shawls in the same time. They are working against ethics of Kashmirhandicrafts and banning them is a wise decision," said another weaver.

Mir said Industries department, Handloom and Handicraftdepartment must continue the ban on powerlooms making pashmina in order toaddress issues of marginalised artisans.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com