The Indian Institute of Carpet Technology Srinagar (IICT) is an ISO 9001:2008 certified autonomous institute, established by office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of textiles, Government of India and the Department of Industries & Commerce (Directorate of Handicrafts), Government of Jammu & Kashmir. The IICT, Srinagar has been set up to provide technical support and development support to the carpet industries specific to Jammu & Kashmir.
The main activities of IICT Srinagar revolve around Human Resource & Development (HRD), Research & Development (R&D), Design Creation and Development (DCD) and other technical services to the industry. The IICT, Srinagar is a satellite centre of Institute of Carpet technology, Bhadohi, UP. The institute commenced functioning in the year 2004-05. It is managed by an executive committee headed by Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, J&K government.
Carpet Designs & Talim Scripts
IICT has introduced a modern technique which is a locally developed Carpet Design Software, in the field of carpet designing wherein carpet designs are automatically converted into Talim Scripts (a unique Coded Pattern). The designs herein created and developed are preserved for ever. This innovation has eased the design work enormously as it used to take months together for a group of persons comprising of Naqash (Designer), Talim Writer and a Talim Copyist to make the carpet design of standard size and to transfer the design drafted on graph paper (outline only) into the coded pattern known as talim in the local language. With the help of this technology, one can view the complete design on the monitor of a computer before actually going for manufacture.
Modern Carpet Loom
After an extensive research for more than four years (2005-2008), the institute conceived the design of Modern Carpet Loom, first of its kind in the entire country, and developed its one prototype. This was aimed at improving the working conditions of the carpet artisans. The necessary testing and trial runs of this prototype were conducted at the institute for more than two years and its working was observed on regular basis. After additional trial runs in more than 100 carpet training centres of state and central government were conducted to make them user friendly, these looms were approved for introduction in the carpet industry of the state.
Subsequently, office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, government of India has earmarked funds to the tune of 32.0 crores for the introduction of 8000 such looms in the carpet industry under Mega Carpet Cluster Project as per funding pattern of 80:20 as the share of government of India and state government respectively which implies that Modern Carpet Loom along with the sitting bench shall be made available to the artisans free of cost. The institute has distributed first consignment of 500 Modern Carpet Looms in 10 districts of Kashmir division (50 looms/district) in July 2012.
To educate and upgrade their skill and broaden their information & knowledge base, IICT has devised skill up-gradation/orientation training/ design workshop programmes for over 1700 persons comprising of artisans, designers, talim writers, washer-men etc. This will help in manufacturing best quality carpets as per the current market requirements which in turn will address the issue of low economic returns to the artisans.
The institute has set up Design Studio with latest digital equipments wherein 561 Carpet and 107 Kani Shawl Designs in the digital form were developed with the application of Carpet Design Software. IICT generated revenue of Rs 13.17 Lacs from the industry while providing these on nominal charges.
Library has been set up with relevant books and magazines of international repute for the reference of Industry & trade. Design Bank has been set up for the carpet craft in the digital format wherein 287 old/traditional carpet designs presently available in the form of manually written Talim paper scripts (coded pattern) have been digitised so far. The digitised designs are preserved forever and can be recreated as per the current market requirements. Besides, Testing Laboratory for Physical and Chemical Testing of raw materials like Silk, Wool, Cotton etc., has been set up.
A detailed research study has been completed by the Institute to look for ways and means to streamline the process of carpet washing which has remained unchanged since centuries together and to standardise the use of chemicals and auxiliaries to improve the finishing of carpets.
Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS)
The Institute has introduced two unique Short and Long term courses under Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) of Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. Under the programme, over four thousand persons shall be trained, over a period of five years, with the objective to develop a trained human resource for the carpet Industry in Kashmir division. Besides, it is aimed to create additional self employment opportunities for the educated unemployed youth in the Handicrafts sector by providing them requisite technical and entrepreneurial skills so that they could set up their own income generating units for the growth and development of the Carpet Industry.
Under the scheme, 4200 candidates from eight districts of Kashmir division viz Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Pulwama & Srinagar, shall be trained under four months Certificate Course in Carpet Manufacturing (CCCM) and 100 candidates shall be trained under One year Diploma in Carpet Technology& Entrepreneurship Development (DCTED). The scheme is in progress since January 2012.
Mega Carpet Cluster Project
A massive Skill up-gradation and Capacity Building programme under Mega Carpet Cluster project sanctioned by Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and Industries & Commerce Department, Government of Jammu & Kashmir has recently been launched at seven different areas of district Srinagar.
Around 4000 carpet artisans of Srinagar District shall be trained over a period of three years. The objective of this programme is to educate the artisans about quality of Raw Materials, Yarn Dyeing, Carpet Designing (Traditional/Modern), Carpet Finishing, Quality Control & its importance, Marketing & Marketing Techniques, Formation of SHG’s/ Clusters/ Cooperative Societies & their benefits and to sensitize them about the Modern Carpet Loom designed by IICT, Srinagar.
In addition, awareness sessions about the developmental schemes of various departments and organizations are organized so that artisans can avail benefits from such schemes. Awareness camps were organized at Shangus (Anantnag), Devsar (Kulgam), Reyar Khan Sahib (Budgam), and Ajas (Bandipora) for setting up of Carpet Production Centers. Around 1000 artisans and carpet weavers participated in these awareness cum interactive camps. Study tours and field visits are also organized to broaden the horizon of their practical exposure so that artisans can assimilate changes that are taking place at the national and international level.
IICT has undertaken successful completion of study on feasibility and suitability of locally produced high quality reeled Mulberry Silk as raw material for Hand knotted Silk Carpets instead of spun silk yarn being imported from outside the State.
In order to provide legal protection and safeguard against use of registered Geographical Indication by others, the Institute is presently working on the project of “Registration of Kashmiri Hand Knotted Silk Carpets under Geographical Indication Act”. (Courtesy PIB, Srinagar)