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  5. Ajrakh from Kutch gets GI tag: Other Indian fabrics with similar certification

Ajrakh from Kutch gets GI tag: Other Indian fabrics with similar certification

The recent addition of Ajrakh from Kutch to the list of GI-tagged fabrics is a proud moment for India's rich textile heritage. It also serves as a reminder to appreciate and support other indigenous fabrics, which have stood the test of time and continue to mesmerize us with their beauty.

Written By: Kristina Das @ New Delhi Published on: May 02, 2024 13:30 IST
Ajrakh from Kutch gets GI tag
Image Source : FILE IMAGE Ajrakh from Kutch gets GI tag.

India is a land of diverse cultures, traditions and customs. One of the most prominent aspects of this vibrant country is its rich heritage of textiles and fabrics. From the intricate Banarasi silk sarees to the vibrant Kalamkari prints, India's fabrics have been admired and coveted by people all over the world. And now, one more fabric has joined the league of Indian textiles with a prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag - Ajrakh from Kutch.

What is Ajrakh?

The Ajrakh fabric is a traditional hand-block printing technique that originated in Kutch, Gujarat. It uses natural dyes and intricate patterns to create beautiful textiles, which are then used to make sarees, dupattas, stoles, and other garments. The unique feature of Ajrakh is its use of geometric patterns and rich earthy colours like indigo, madder, and mustard. This fabric has been an integral part of the Kutchi culture for centuries and has now gained recognition on a global level with its GI tag.

What is a GI tag?

The GI tag is a certification that identifies a product as originating from a specific geographical location and possessing unique qualities due to that region's traditional knowledge and expertise. It not only adds value to the product but also protects it from imitation or misuse. Ajrakh's GI tag was granted by the Geographical Indications Registry after a long process of documentation and verification of its origin and production techniques.

With Ajrakh joining the list of GI-tagged fabrics, let's take a look at some other Indian textiles that have received similar recognition.

  • Banarasi Silk: The luxurious Banarasi silk sarees from Varanasi have been coveted by women all over the world for their exquisite designs and fine quality. This fabric has been granted a GI tag for its uniqueness in design, weaving technique, and use of pure silk and zari. The intricate designs of Banarasi silk sarees, inspired by Mughal and Persian art, make them stand out in the sea of Indian textiles.
  • Chanderi Fabric: Chanderi, a small town in Madhya Pradesh, is known for its delicate and lightweight fabric. Chanderi sarees and suits are made from a combination of cotton and silk, giving them a sheer and lustrous appearance. This fabric has been granted a GI tag for its traditional handloom weaving technique, which dates back to the 13th century. The motifs used in Chanderi fabrics are inspired by nature and are intricately woven using golden zari.
  • Kanjeevaram Silk: The Kanjeevaram sarees from Tamil Nadu are famous for their vibrant colours, fine silk, and intricate zari work. This fabric has been granted a GI tag for its traditional weaving technique that uses three shuttles to weave the body, border, and pallu of the saree separately and then join them together. The rich gold zari work on Kanjeevaram sarees makes them a must-have in every Indian woman's wardrobe.
  • Kota Doria: One of the many varieties of sari clothing produced in Muhammadabad Gohna, Mau in Uttar Pradesh and the surrounding area, as well as in Kota, Rajasthan, is kota doria. Pure cotton and silk are used to make sarees, which are adorned with square-like designs called khats. Since these sarees were woven in Mysore, they were originally known as Masuria. The GI tag was given to Kota Doria in July 2005. Kota Doria cotton sarees are regarded as the lightest in India because of their transparency and low weight.
  • Odisha Ikat: One type of ikat, which is a resist dyeing method, comes from Odisha and is called Orissa Ikat. It is sometimes referred to as "Bandha of Orissa" and has been an Orissan product since 2007. To produce the design on the loom before weaving, the warp and weft threads are tie-dyed.

These are just a few examples of the many Indian fabrics that have been blessed with the prestigious GI tag. Each of these textiles has a unique story to tell, reflecting the rich culture, history, and traditions of their respective regions.

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