ZT News Desk

New Delhi, Aug 2:

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity. The Standard was released in Leh on Friday.

Official sources told Ziraat Times that Ministry of Textiles is currently also 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.

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, Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development, Zubin Irani said in a message on the occasion.

Ms 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.

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. 

The nomadic Pashmina herders live in the tough terrain of Changthang area of Ladakh and Pashmina rearing is a key source for their livelihood. At present, according to officials figures, there are 2400 families rearing 2.5 lakh goats.