Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity. The Standard is being released in Leh, today.
In a message Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child
Development, Smriti Zubin Irani said that the certification will help curb the
adulteration of Pashmina and also protect the interests of local artisans and
nomads who are the producers of Pashmina raw material. It will also assure the
purity of Pashmina for customers.
Smriti Zubin Irani said that BIS certification of Pashmina
will go a long way in discouraging counterfeit or substandard products
presently mislabeled and sold as genuine Pashmina in the market.
Textiles Minister further said that it is a step in the
right direction and will ensure better prices for the goat herding community in
Ladakh as well as for the local handloom artisans producing genuine Pashmina
products, currently a disadvantaged lot due to rampant marketing malpractices.
The nomadic Pashmina herders live in the hostile and tough
terrain of Changthang and are solely dependent on Pashmina for their
livelihood. At present, there are 2400 families rearing 2.5 lakh goats. This
initiative of hallmarking Pashmina will protect the interests of these
families, motivate the younger generation to continue in this profession as
well as encourage more families to take up this occupation.
Ladakh produces 50 MT of the finest grade of Pashmina in the
world (12-15 microns) and this initiative will provide further impetus towards
value addition of Pashmina in Ladakh.
Ministry of Textiles is processing a proposal for funding of Rs. 20
crore for a de-hairing plant for Leh which along with this initiative will lead
to progress in the Pashmina sector in Ladakh.
The Changthangi or Pashmina goat, is a special breed of goat
indigenous to the high altitude regions of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. They
are raised for ultra-fine cashmere wool, known as Pashmina once woven. The
Textiles are handspun and were first woven in Kashmir. The Changthangi goat
grows a thick, warn undercoat which is the source of Kashmir Pashmina wool –
the world’s finest cashmere measuring between 12-15 microns in fiber thickness.
These goats are generally domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh. The Changthangi goats have revitalized the economy of Changthang, Leh and Ladakh region.