The exhibition aims to encourage people to look for the Silk Mark tag certifying the purity of silk.
Silk Mark Expo 2012 organised by the Silk Mark Organisation of India (SMOI) featuring 54 stalls of quality silk products from 20 States got under way at Gokulam Park Convention Centre here on Friday.
Cochin Port Trust Chairman Paul Antony inaugurated the week-long exhibition which ends on August 16.
The exhibition, which offers a platform for silk manufacturers to showcase their products, is part of the larger goal of SMOI to encourage people to look for the Silk Mark tag certifying the purity of silk.
Addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the exhibition, K. Sukumar Menon, Chief Executive Officer of SMOI, warned customers about large scale adulteration in silk products.
He said that many materials that look like silk, including polyester and nylon, get mixed with silk and people do not get their money’s worth.
There is no guarantee that costumers will get pure silk in every shop.The Silk Mark label assures the quality of silk. SMOI conducts surprise checks to ensure that its members comply with its rules and regulations. Any member of Silk Mark found selling adulterated silk will be instantly blacklisted.
Mr. Menon said that SMOI is trying to make Silk Mark mandatory for all silk products. He said that it involves a lot of legislations. SMOI is also looking at having its own showrooms in another two to three years.
Silk Expo is beneficial to customers in the district as pure silk of different varieties are made available on one platform.
The pavilion showcasing the entire manufacturing process of silk is one of the highlights of the show.
SMOI encourages weavers to take membership for which they need to pay only Rs. 500 instead of Rs. 5,000 payable by traders and exporters.
“We encourage weavers to participate in the expo by giving them a platform to promote their products. Of the 2,000-odd members of Silk Mark, 200 to 300 are weavers,” Mr. Menon said.
Apart from receiving training, weavers who become members get support for upgrading their looms and subsidy for new looms. For instance, weavers get a subsidy of 75 per cent for a handloom costing about Rs. 28,000, he said.
The stalls at the exhibition will showcase silk sarees from across the country, raw and pure silk, silk garments, and silk handicraft products.
Silken Splendour, a fashion show showcasing silk sarees at the exhibition will be held at the venue on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tom Jose, managing director of Kochi Metro Rail Limited, will inaugurate the show.