Uppada Jamdani saris get GI tag

Shyam Ranganathan

CHENNAI: Uppada Jamdani saris, once woven exclusively for the royal houses of Pitapuram, Venkatagiri and Bobbili, have been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) registration in India.

The Uppada Handloom Weavers Co-operative Production & Sales Society and two other associations representing the weaver community numbering around 1,500 persons and 500 families, in the villages of Uppada, Kothapalli and others in Kothapalli Mandal in Andhra Pradesh have been granted the GI registration.

Lalitha Prasad, chairperson, Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh, says that the saris are manually woven in such a way that the design is uniformly visible on both sides of the cloth. The design also blends with the cloth in a way that it is not felt separately from the cloth on which it is woven.

Vijaya Rajan, chairperson, Crafts Council of India (CCI), says that with most weavers over 40 years of age, the industry is likely to be hit in the coming days.

The CCI would look at means of reviving the weaving industry in general in the coming months, she said, adding that the GI tag would hopefully increase the economic viability of the industry for Uppada weavers.

Following the GI registration, those selling saris under the Uppada Jamdani tag, apart from the authorised associations, would be liable to civil and criminal action, says GK.Muthukumaar, senior associate, Anand and Anand, who represented the weavers’ associations in obtaining the GI tag.

This would ultimately result in greater revenues for the weavers, he says. The annual turnover of the industry is around Rs.6-crore, with significant demand among upper sections of society, he adds.

Apart from the saris, the registration would also cover churidhar sets, scarfs, stoles, dress materials, furnishings, furnishing mats, bed and table covers, wall hangings, door and window curtains made by the weavers using the particular technique, Mr. Muthukumaar says.

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