Why in News:
- Indian Postal Service has released a special cover of Kashmir’s famed hand-knotted carpet.
- This comes as a boost for the J&K Handicrafts and Handloom Department’s efforts to push for the Geographical Indication (GI) certification, upscale the dwindling trade, and restore its lost glory.
- The inclusion of Kashmir’s hand-knotted carpet as a postal cover will help educate people about GI tagging and reach a wide audience.
- The situation demands the building of trust and restoring consumer confidence to buy our authentic carpets
- The origin of hand knotted carpets locally known as “Kal baffi” dates back to the 15th century.
- Kashmir’s carpet industry witnessed a boom under the 15th century ruler Zain-ul-Abidin, with weavers travelling from Persia and Central Asia to Kashmir, and the craft dominating western markets with its laborious and exquisite artwork.
Where the challenge lies
- The Kashmir carpet faces tough competition internationally from carpet-exporting countries like China, Turkey and Belgium, and internally from carpets manufactured in Jaipur, Agra, Bhadohi and Amritsar.
- Silk carpets are in the luxury bracket. However, lack of silk processing units in Kashmir forced the weavers to buy [silk] from outside, which added to the cost of the carpet.
- Eighth sultan of Kashmir, also known as the “Akbar of Kashmir”
- He was known by his subjects as Bod Shah (‘Great King’)
- He allowed Hindus and Buddhists to practice their religion, and had many temples restored. He constructed lakes and canals.
- Zain-ul-Abidin was also a patron of art, literature, and poetry.
To know about GI tag: https://officerspulse.com/jamakkalam-weavers/