A blend of modern technology combined with the ancient art of shawl weaving is all set to revolutionise the pashmina industry of Kashmir. By introducing special micro-chips based on nano technology, consumers would no longer need any other proof regarding the authenticity of your pure pashmina shawl.
Known as the Kashmir Pashmina Geographical Indication (GI) mark, each of these chips will be imprinted in the form of a label on every hand woven Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl at the Testing and Quality Certification Centre in Kashmir. The label will be embedded to each hand woven Kashmiri Pashmina shawl after testing the originality of fabric, fineness of thread, spinning method and weaving technology. Kashmir Pashmina Mark would also indicate details of the manufacturer and the quality of the shawl.
Ever since the early days when Pashmina shawls and stoles from Kashmir first reached the Western world, there have always been people trying to sell counterfeit shawls with a pashmina tag. In fact, the term pashmina is constantly misused while selling low quality stoles and shawls, and you are more likely to find fake shawls and stoles being sold for less than 1/20th the cost of an original. Pashmina is the original name for cashmere, a term derived from Kashmir, where Pashmina wool was first used as a fabric. Nowadays, with everything from viscose to ordinary wool being sold as pashminas in some of the most developed and monitored markets in the world, the mark of an original pashmina could only be identified by some of the most trained eyes with decades of experiences in Kashmir handicrafts. But all this uncertainty is soon to be something of the past.
This initiative has brought a sigh of relief to every artisan as this step is aimed to bring back the dying Kashmir handicrafts and would bring confidence and trust in the genuineness of pashmina shawls. The chip can neither be transferred, nor destroyed and, most importantly, it is copy-proof, visible only under a UV light with a unique tracking number. Plus, the label cannot be damaged by dry cleaning, washing or ironing!
Unfortunately, with only up to a 100 shawls being tested in a day, this process will take time to monitor the entire industry of Kashmir, but measures are being taken to increase the capacity of the testing facility. At Kashmir Shawl Atelier we are driven to empower the craftsmen of Kashmir and promote their original handmade products and we hope in the near future every pashmina shawl at online store will also be able to benefit from this great initiative and come with its own original pashmina labels.