The perception about silk that it is only for women needs to be changed and its use should be expanded to make it a unigender fabric, said Union textiles minister Smriti Irani. She also said that the notion that silk is only for women is a narrow approach and scientists and marketing team need to work towards looking for new avenues for its diversification.
No disservice should be done to men who want to use silk, said Irani while addressing the audience at the inauguration of the second Centre of Excellence (CoE) of the Central Silk Board (CSB) in Bengaluru. The inauguration also marked the launch of an indigenous Automatic Silk Reeling Machine (ARM) by CSB.
The minister also stressed on the need for an outreach programme for promoting Indian silk and said that the new reeling machine will help women in the sector who were mostly engaged in rearing cocoons and working in old and outdated units.
The CoE in Bengaluru, managed by Central Silk Technological Research Institute (CSTRI), has been set up to impart industry aligned skill seeding and skill development training programmes. It will also offer short term and long term courses in spinning, reeling, weaving, twisting, finishing, processing and packaging silk. CSB already has a CoE in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
The reeling machine that will be supplied to reelers from next year, has been developed to shorten the gap between silk demand and production and deal with the shortage of skilled manpower, said KM Hanumantharayappa, Chairman of CSB.
He also added that India is on track to become self-reliant in silk and will not be required to import it by 2020. The production of bivoltine silk has increased and the country is producing close to 4,000 tonnes of 4A grade silk, equivalent to the high-quality fabric imported from China, said Hanumantharayappa.
The total silk production in India is 28,000 tonnes, consisting of 10,000 tonnes of crossbreed mulberry variety, according to the CSB chairman. (KD)
Source; Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India