About GI tags

“A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is an identifier attached to a product in the form of a name or sign that indicates the origin and specific geographical region of that product.”

The GI tag refers to the unique features and qualities of that product that can be ensured by the manufacturers belonging to that particular geographical location only. No other manufacturers and suppliers can use this trade name apart from the authorized manufacturers of that geographical territory. This practice was introduced to legally protect the unique qualities and workmanship of exclusive items produced in a country or region so that no other can claim to possess and apply the know-how. With the rise of exports of various indigenous products across the world, it becomes necessary to protect the geographical and intellectual identity of products on a global platform. 

The GI tag provides authority and rights to the traditional manufacturers of a local community to protect their culture and allow them to make and sell their products under a specific trade name. GI tag is similar to a hallmark of standard assigned to a product, be it agricultural or handicrafts products, that ensures that the product has maintained certain qualities and is manufactured through some proprietary methods that give the product a unique identity.

Why do Indian Handicrafts require GI tags?

Why do Indian Handicrafts require GI tags

Indian handicraft products have gained popularity worldwide because of their exclusive qualities, high craftsmanship, and the nature of raw materials used. These products are getting acknowledged in the international arena as a symbol of India’s rich culture and heritage. Artists from different parts of the country are engaged in making these beautiful handcrafted items using their skill and craftsmanship. They are carrying the tradition of handicraft making through generations and earning their livelihood. It is extremely necessary to protect the intellectual rights of these manufacturers for making such exclusively-designed products. It helps to stimulate the demand pattern of these products for driving more sales. 

The handicraft manufacturers have been maintaining the product quality through generations and continue making innovations with design and raw material to make them more exclusive. The natural ingredients and raw materials used to make these products are sourced locally and the manufacturers are well aware of their characteristics and special treatments required to make them more sustainable and eco-friendly. These handicraft products genuinely require an authentication or GI tag to highlight their standards and quality to the global market. The GI tag helps to identify the source of manufacturing and craftsmanship of artisans associated with the products which increase the acceptability and demand for such products. 

Benefits of GI tags

GI tag protects a product from being pirated and helps to establish its authenticity and credibility to a wide range of customers. It is also an initiative to encourage the local community to preserve their traditional art forms and culture. The products having GI tags are considered unique and exclusive so their demand in the global market increases. It helps to boost  export opportunities to foreign customers spreading across countries that not only generate revenue but also ensure recognition for the regional artists involved in the manufacturing of such products. The handicraft industry is mostly a medium-scale and decentralized industry so the increase in demand can create more opportunities for this industry to flourish and maintain sustainability. 

The GI tags help to place the products in a special market segment that faces less competition and leads to profitable business both in the domestic and global market. Again, as per the agreement with the World Trade Organization, India needs to establish a certain legal framework in the form of rules to protect the national intellectual and traditional properties. An important step in this regard is the introduction of GI tags under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act in 1999 and its implementation in 2003. 

Indian handicraft products with GI tag

The handicrafts products can be broadly classified into two types based on their utility from the customer’s point of view. 

  • Consumer goods are those products that are used or utilized for regular activities which include utensils, ornaments, textiles, carpets, fragrances, potteries, furniture, and many more accessories. 
  • The other category of handicraft items is used solely for decoration purposes at home and in commercial setups. These types of products include paintings, wall hangings, showpieces, statues, etc. 
  • Each type of handicraft item reflects the regional artistic style, culture, workmanship, and raw material varieties. The manufacturers of handmade products are successfully incorporating a combination of science and art to offer products that contribute towards a healthy lifestyle and well-being. The aesthetic and artistic values of the products are considered to be very high among certain groups of people who want to invest in high-quality handicrafts products for home decoration and utility purposes. 

A list of top 10 handicrafts products that have received the GI tag for their quality and standards are mentioned below:

1. Madhubani Paintings of Bihar

Madhubani Paintings of Bihar

Madhubani paintings are a special type of painting that have their origin in the Mithila region of Bihar. It is a renowned art form admired internationally. The uniqueness of this type of painting is that they are made with natural colors like turmeric, indigo, and various flower extracts.  

2. Dhokra Art of Chhattisgarh

Dhokra Art of Chhattisgarh

Dhokra metal casting is a traditional art form practiced by the tribes of the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh The people of this tribe have been making beautifully designed shapes and figures using iron and alloys. The dhokra art form reflects the local culture and is a popular choice among collectors for its intricate designs.

3. Kantha Stitch of West Bengal

Kantha Stitch of West Bengal

Kantha stitch is a beautifully designed embroidery product made with thread and needle by the weavers of West Bengal. This is very colorful and compact in design that enhances the look of textiles.

4. Shawls of Kashmir

Shawls of Kashmir

Kashmiri shawls are famous for their quality and comfort. It is one of the oldest crafts of Kashmir that uses the wool originated from a special type of goat found in this region. 

5. Ikkat of Orissa

Ikkat of Orissa

Ikkat is a traditional weaving and dyeing technique used by weavers in Odisha to create some beautiful and distinct patterns on textiles that are widely acknowledged in various parts of the world.

6. Blue Pottery of Rajasthan

Blue Pottery of Rajasthan

The local artist of Jaipur in Rajasthan has mastered the art of making potteries, vases, and showpieces using stone powder, glass, gum, borax, and other materials. The fascinating blue dye used to color the products makes the products so attractive and exclusive.

7. Kutch Embroidery of Gujarat

Kutch Embroidery of Gujarat

The Kutch embroidery work is based in the regions of Kutch in Gujarat where the local artisans create the most creative and exquisite designs on fabrics. The mirror and beadwork along with the usage of silk threads of bright colors make the Kutch embroidery work quite popular.

8. Mysore Silk of Karnataka

Mysore Silk of Karnataka

The exquisite fabrics are made from 100% pure silk and hand-woven to create beautiful patterns. The saris made of Mysore silks are famous for their designs, colors, and lightweight. 

9. Brass Embroidered Coconut Shell Craft, Kerala

Brass Embroidered Coconut Shell Craft, Kerala

Kerala has large coconut vegetation along the coastline and artists of that region use coconut shells to make intricately designed items with brass coverings. It is a very time-consuming and laborious process to make such exclusive products for utility and home décor purposes.

10. Chanderi Fabric of Madhya Pradesh

Chanderi Fabric of Madhya Pradesh

Chanderi fabric is the traditionally woven and printed texture of a fabric that is famous for its lightweight and colorful appearance. This product is exclusively made in a small town in Madhya Pradesh named Chanderi where the weavers use this traditional art to make handcrafted sarees in silk and cotton.

 There are a huge variety of Indian handicraft products that are quite popular due to their aesthetic qualities, precise designs, use of raw material, and sustainability. A large section of people has a fondness for these uniquely designed products that are made with eco-friendly raw materials and are long-lasting. People prefer using Indian handicrafts at home, offices, and at social gatherings for their unique quality and designs that enhance the aesthetics of interiors. The presence of natural touch also makes these products so exclusive and unique. The products are most liked in western countries due to natural and organic raw materials which are almost rare in the products being used today. The handicrafts products have been able to create a significant impact in the international market with the innovative features of stability and environment-friendly features.

Online Information About Products

The Indian handicrafts industry has come a long way and is trying to adopt advanced tools and techniques to remain competitive. There has been more focus on the online mode of listing and showcasing the product features to ensure the engagement of more customers across the globe. Craftezy is one of the leading online platforms that help manufacturers to display exclusive handicraft products with GI tags in a professional manner that is likely to attract more foreign customers. This is an effective business strategy that can help Indian handicraft manufacturers to place their products in specialized categories to improve product visibility and access to a wide range of customers worldwide.

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