Come January, and the production of the globally-acclaimed Pashmina wool products will begin in Uttar Pradesh (UP) as well. This is the first ever attempt to introduce the heritage craft of Pashmina weaving, indigenous to Leh & Ladakh, outside J&K.
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has roped in four Khadi Institutions from UP’s Varanasi & Ghazipur districts for processing Raw Pashmina wool and weaving it further into woollen fabric. These units are: Krishak Gramodyog Vikas Sansthan of Varanasi and Shri Mahadev Khadi Gramodyog Sansthan, Khadi Kambal Udyog Sansthan and Gram Sewa Ashram from Ghazipur
Two master trainers from West Bengal will give a 30-day training in Pashmina weaving to 20 Khadi artisans from Sewapuri Ashram, Varanasi.
The four Khadi Institutions of Varanasi division have already started processing raw Pashmina wool, nearly 200kg of which will be supplied to artisans in Leh by the end of this week. The Leh artisans will spin the wool by the end of this month, which will then be sent to Varanasi for weaving.
“KVIC will provide online marketing support also to these khadi institutions. This will be a path-breaking initiative as the production of Pashmina would, for the first time, be done outside the J&K and Leh-Ladakh region,” says KVC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena
The Pashmina Raw Wool Processing Centre in Delhi will ensure round the year supply of Pashmina roving to the artisans in Leh & Ladakh where all activities remain suspended for six months owing to extreme cold.
“This move will not only ensure utilisation of entire quality of de-haired Pashmina wool of Ladakh but will also open new job opportunities for local artisans and availability of genuine and affordable Pashmina wool products in Varanasi,” he adds.