Now the Pashmina fabric to get a distinct Varanasi identity | Varanasi News

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VARANASI: From the Himalayan highlands of Leh-Ladakh to the banks of the River Ganga in Varanasi, the heritage craftsmanship of Pashmina is poised for a whole new identity.
The high-end Pashmina products prepared by highly skilled Khadi weavers from Varanasi will be launched by Chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Vinai Kumar Saxena, in the city on Friday. This is the first time that Pashmina products have been produced outside the Leh-Ladakh region and Jammu & Kashmir.
“KVIC will sell Pashmina ‘made in Varanasi’ products through its showrooms, outlets and through its online portal,” Saxena told TOI on Thursday.
Pashmina is renowned as an essential art form of Kashmir, but the rediscovery of pashmina in Varanasi, considered the spiritual and cultural capital of India, is unique in many ways. The production of Pashmina prepared in Varanasi liberates this heritage art from regional confines and creates a fusion of diverse art from Leh-Ladakh, Delhi and Varanasi.
The journey of Pashmina production in Varanasi begins with the collection of raw Pashmina wool in Ladakh which is brought to Delhi to be dehaired, cleaned and processed. The processed wool, in the form of roaming, is brought back to Leh where it is hand-spun by Khadi artisans on modern charkhas provided by KVIC. The finished yarn is then sent to Varanasi where it is woven by trained Khadi weavers into final Pashmina products. A group of Khadi artisans from Leh will also participate in the launching ceremony of Banarasi Pashmina.
“The main idea behind this rediscovery of Pashmina in Varanasi is to generate sustainable employment opportunities for women in Ladakh and to diversify the skills of traditional weavers in Varanasi, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pashmina weaving in Varanasi is said to provide a year-round livelihood for women artisans in Leh-Ladakh, where spinning activities are suspended for almost half the year due to extreme cold. To facilitate this, KVIC has also set up a Pashmina wool processing unit in Leh,” KVIC Chairman said.
According to him, Pashmina weaving in Varanasi is done by four Khadi institutions – Krishak Gramodyog Vikas Sansthan, Varanasi, Shri Mahadev Khadi Gramodyog Sansthan, Ghazipur, Khadi Kambal Udyog Sansthan, Ghazipur and Gram Sewa Ashram, Ghazipur.

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