Banarasi silk items, including the region's world-famous sarees, would now come with a high security nano-particle-embedded fusion label as a hallmark of purity.
The label would assure a customer that the product is genuine. It has been introduced by the Silk Mark Organisation of India (SMOI) and sponsored by the Central Silk Board.
As a result, it would no longer be possible to pass off cheap Chinese silk and synthetic material as Banarasi silk.
Unlike the present tag of purity attached to silk products, the new nano-technology-based label is fused with the fabric using a hot press machine. This makes it indelible even after several washes (a minimum of 15 washes, the organisation claims). Plus, it has particles that are visible under infrared light.
The customer can verify the genuineness of the stamp at the shop through a machine.
The label comes with a five-digit computer generated code. A customer can send this code by text message to a particular number. A reply from the SMOI would have information about the manufacturer and the authorised seller, thus authenticating the silk. Officials from the organisation said as the implementation was in the initial stage, the phone number was not yet assigned. But it would be made public soon.
Giving information about the introduction, Ramesh Chandra of Varanasi chapter of the SMOI said the 'hang tag' used at present for the authentication was easy to be replaced on inferior quality material.
The organisation plans a campaign to raise awareness among consumers. The regional office is holding a workshop to acquaint salesmen with the technology.
Nearly 110 sellers and cooperative societies are registered with the Varanasi chapter of the organisation. The Varanasi chapter also caters to establishments in Kanpur, Azamgarh, Mirzapur, Allahabad, Bhadohi and Mubarakpur.