jeans to T-shirts, silk gets a new spin
Bhubaneswar, July 28 (IANS) Donning denim could soon mean
slipping on silk. The Central Silk Board is trying to give
a whole new meaning to the material which is predominantly
associated with women's wear in India.
As part of product diversion, the government-promoted organisation
for development of sericulture and the silk industry is planning
to introduce fabric spun out of silk that will be used for
"We will soon introduce some special fabric made of natural
silk into the market. The special denim yarn has been developed
by our scientists at the Central Silk Technological Research
Institute at Bangalore," board chairman H. Hanumanthappa
The institute has also developed fabrics that will be used
for making everyday-wear like T-shirts other than saris and
women's dress material, he said.
"Indian silk is often associated with women's wear. Also,
it is often said that silk wear is meant for the rich and
the well-to-do. We are trying to revamp this image,"
Hanumanthappa told IANS on the sidelines of an exhibition
of silk products here.
"We are going to have diverse silk products other than
the sari and dress materials for women. We will have different
types of products to cater to a cross-section of buyers."
As part of a move towards product diversification, a slew
of items like carry bags and visiting cards made out of soft
yarn developed by the Bangalore institute have been introduced
in the market.
"We have developed a special type of soft pure natural
silk fabric, which is being used in making T-Shirts by some
private garment companies in Ludhiana and Tirupur," added
Dinkar Bhatt, an official from Bangalore's silk research institute.
The silk board believes that the new experiment will not only
help promote Indian silk but also help beat the double whammy
of the economic slowdown and slump in demand.
"Due to the recession, the demand for Indian silk has
gone down drastically. Exports have fallen by about Rs.1,000
crore in the last one year. It has hurt about 63 lakh (6.3
million) people working in this sector.
Weavers are the worst hit as most of them are poor,"
The silk board is gearing up to not only raise demand in the
domestic market but also to face competition from China.
"Cheap Chinese silk is giving us stiff competition. Considering
the slump in demand in both domestic and foreign markets,
this is like salt in a raw wound," he said.
Faced with the situation, the ministry of textiles has taken
an initiative to promote the "Silk Mark", an official
mark or series of marks on items made of silk, on the lines
of "Hallmark" for precious metals and "Woolmark"
for wool and woollen products.
"Sometimes silk traders cheat consumers by peddling cheap
imitations. We are hallmarking silk products to differentiate
pure silk from fake silk. All products made of pure silk will
carry the Silk Mark," said textiles ministry secretary
(Byomakesh Biswal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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