New Delhi: Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity. The Standard has been released in Leh on Friday.
After the award of certification to the Pashmina, Smriti Zubin Irani, minister of textiles and WCD said "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."
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 2,400 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 Cr 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, warm undercoat which is the source of Kashmir Pashmina wool – the world's finest cashmere measuring between 12-15 microns in fibre 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.