Millennium Post

West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board to seek GI tag for muslin fabric

Kolkata: The West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board (WBKVIB) will soon apply for geographical indication (GI) for its muslin fabric.

The work for preparing the necessary documentation for making the application is in its final stages.

"We will soon apply for GI tag of muslin which has a rich history in Bengal. We are making continuous efforts to diversify our products made from muslin to cater to the demands of the present market," said Gouri Sankar Dutta, chairman of WBKVIB.

The board is collating the age-old gazette notifications, different publications in newspapers and magazines to establish the golden history of muslin in the best possible way.

It is also making a detailed documentation on the steps taken in recent times to boost muslin production in the state.

It may be mentioned that in Bengal, there are primarily seven districts, which can be identified as major pockets of muslin

fabric like Murshidabad, Birbhum, Nadia, Burdwan, Malda and Hooghly and Paschim Medinipur.

There are around 900 to 1100 families engaged in muslin production. More importantly, even though muslin is produced in some countries of West Asia, their artisans can hardly go beyond 200 count. It is only these six districts that yarns of 500 counts and more are produced. Such fine yarns are of high demand in the international market, especially in Japan.

In July 2015, the state MSME department had started Project Muslin for revival and rejuvenation of brand Khadi and wooing back some of the traditionally skilled artisans who left the handloom sector and sought employment in less-skilled sectors.

Apart from sarees, dhotis, kurtas , shirts, Aligarh pajama, kurtas, jackets, boxer pants, draw sting pants, dyeing rolls, bed sheets, bed runnrs, pillow covers, curtains, cushion covers, handkerchiefs and angabastra made from muslins have become very popular among the younger people. Handbags and junk jewellery made from muslins have also become popular.

The origin of muslin cotton in Bengal are a thousand years old. It was appreciated for its lightness and distinctive motifs by many travellers.

Hand-woven from uncommonly delicate hand spun yarn made with 100 percent cotton muslin is a soft, gentle and versatile fabric.

In a significant stride to boost the sale and marketing of Muslin fabric, the Mamata Banerjee government is developing Muslin Tourism Circuit (MTC) at three places in the state with the aim to take foreign tourists to these places and make them witness the manufacture of muslin fabric with their naked eyes. MTC has already been developed at Akalpoush and Sasinara in Burdwan.

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