Imitation and knock off is a very common scene in the field of jewellery and fashion. This is similar in the case of silk production. As we all know Silk-The Queen of Textiles, is a natural fibre which is known for its lustre, richness and softness. Silk is classified into two types-domesticated silk and wild silk. Mulberry silk is considered to be Domestic silk, whereas Muga, Tasar and Eri are considered to be Wild silk.
Introduction of Artificial Silks and launch of Silk Mark:
Which silk is known as artificial silk and why?
History says that, when silk was first produced in China, western countries were more dependent on China for import and purchase of silk and silk related products. Because of which western economy got affected. There came the invention of man-made fibre-Nylon which is termed as artificial silk or art silk. Thousands and thousands of traders started selling non-silk products in the name of silk in the market and consumers had no knowledge about this. Slowly Art-Silk started to trend in the market of India as well. At that point of time, authorities of the Silk Board, Government of India, formed a committee and discussed this problem, which was during 2003. Later they came up with an idea of controlling the trade. At the beginning of this scheme, it was not easy to control trade stage by stage or from A to Z but they were confident that the trade could be controlled to a certain extent. The proposal was proposed to the Textile Ministry in 2003 and the Ministry accepted the proposal in the same year but was implemented in 2014 June.
What is Silk Mark? Who is the implementing authority? What is the benefit of the silk mark to the customer? All these queries are answered below.
Silk Mark is a symbol of quality assurance or identification mark of 100% pure silk products. It is not a compulsory scheme, just an optional one. For easy implementation of this scheme separate society has been formed under Karnataka society act which is called Silk Mark Organisation of India (SMOI). The Central Silk Board is the implementing authority of Silk Mark. The main aim of Silk Mark is to control local trade of fake silk, educate customers, manufacturers, and traders about the real silk and promotion of 100% pure silk. Apparently customers can buy genuine silk products from authorized traders.
Process of registration:
Steps Involved in getting a Silk Mark by a trader/Manufacturer:
- Traders, Manufacturers, exporters should become member of SMOI.
- Only those who deal with 100% pure silk products can become a member or can register for Silk Mark.
- An agreement should be signed with SMOI.
- Separate Authorised Users application form and fees has to be submitted to register.
- To verify the application and to check the genuineness of trade of a registered company or showroom, SMOI appoints experienced officers to carry out the process of verification.
- After verification, officers will submit the report along with recommendations.
- Once the documents and other formalities are verified, registration will be done for that particular trader.
- Now this trader becomes an Authorised User (AU) and training is given to this user.
- In training all information related to silk will be educated, say for example, what is silk mark, difference between silk and non silk products, how to maintain the label of packaging, etc will be trained.
- After training silk mark labels are supplied to AU.
- Now it’s the trader’s responsibility to use the SM tag only on the 100% silk products.
- After this, once in six months surveillance visit is done to check whether the AU’s use the label on the correct product.
- Randomly the products will be verified.
- This surveillance team will be of the 2 groups. One is the in-house surveillance and the other is independent third party surveillance.
- Surprise checks and audits are carried out by these teams by checking on spot or laboratory testing.
- If something is found wrong during audit, inquiry is done to know whether the mistake is done deliberately or without knowledge. This happens because sometimes the sales person may tag the product wrong.
- Legal action will be taken on using the label on non silk products.
- Finally, silk mark purchased traders should give product wash care, storage instructions and dimensions of the product in a written format to the customers which is printed on the product box.
Types of silk mark tags:
Silk mark labels cannot be copied or reused, especially the hologram. These tags are provided to AU at a cost. There are different types of SM tags as follows:
- Woven Label
- Paper hang-tag
- Fusion label with nano particles
In particular, paper hang tags are provided with holograms that are concealed with numbers and codes which are highly secured. This helps in identifying the AU, period of usage of tag, etc. It also consists of bar codes for each product.