Guledgud Khana to get GI tag soon

Guledgud Khana to get GI tag soon

It is hand woven using pure cotton thread and silk yarn by traditional artisans

A team from the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will visit Guledgud in Bagalkot district by September end to put the final seal of geographical exclusivity on this popular cloth which has been produced here for centuries.

The GI status will give legal protection to the product against its unauthorised use by other manufacturers and countries, besides promoting economic prosperity of the Guledgud Khana weavers.

Guledgud Khana is a fabric hand woven using pure cotton thread and silk yarn by traditional weavers of Guledgud and surrounding villages. It has become the most preferred blouse piece among women of all classes in the region, because of its exquisite designs, vibrant colours and also as it goes well with Ilkal sarees.

The artisans have successfully introduced new designs and colours while retaining its original character, to cater to the changing trends. Today, this fabric with a traditional look is considered fashionable not only in North Karnataka but also in other parts of the country.

Major threats

Ironically, private garment companies are trying to cash in on the growing popularity of this cloth. They are duplicating the Guledgud Khana on a large scale in their powerloom factories, which is posing two major threats - the fabric may lose its original character (in terms of look and quality), and the private companies may patent this fabric. In any of the two cases, livelihood of Guledgud Khana artisans will be affected.

Talking to Deccan Herald, Prof J S Muralidhara, Head of Department of Textile, BIET, Davangere, who is co-ordinating between the Central agencies and the weavers in seeking the geographical exclusivity for the fabric, said, “The Guledgud Khana fabric is a product of intricate work and design, invented and preserved by weavers of Guledgud and surrounding villages. The GI tag will help not only in empowering weavers, but also in protecting original character of this fabric.”

Nagaraj Hongal, a senior leader fighting for protection of the weavers’ rights, opined that the GI status is needed to check garment factories from duplicating the fabric.