A girl checks out a ghicha silk stole at a Jharcraft store in Ranchi last week. Picture by Hardeep Singh
No one knows their silks like the Chinese, but they can still learn a thing or two from the two Gs — Godda and ghicha.
Tribal weavers of Godda seem to have borrowed the Chinese proverb — “with time and patience, the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown”.
At the recent India International Trade Fair (IITF) in New Delhi, the only foreign buyer for Jharcraft’s silks was Chinese firm SPANDA, with offices in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
The niche buyers snapped up 60 stoles as samples.
Later, they purchased 250 more.
Though the sum of business, Rs 1.10 lakh, is not the talking point, the deal has proved one thing — Jharcraft silks impress the original connoisseurs.
What is ghicha silk? Well, it is silk with an endearing edge about it. It is silk spun from natural cocoon, with the rawness being its fashion quotient. The designs — mostly tribal motifs based on flora and fauna — are stunning.
If buyers in Hong Kong and Guangzhou like ghicha silk, it means that a new market is on the cusp of growth.
Ashwini Singh, regional manager of Jharcraft, New Delhi, told The Telegraph that they were glad of making a dent with ghicha.
“Right now, we know we are just making a baby footprint in the Chinese market. But during our business to business (B2B) marketing, we had direct interaction with a China-based NRI at the international fair in Delhi. He loved our ghicha silk stoles.”
Jharcraft had in 2011 done impressive business with the Chinese.
The corporation had received bulk orders from Shanghai-based company Shanghai Xin An Import and Co Ltd for three lakh tussar silk stoles worth Rs 15 crore.
Now, it is time to make ghicha the flavour of silk stoles.
“I think the tribal motifs and interesting silken texture will make ghicha a hot favourite. In the global market, it is fresh and edgy, besides being hundred per cent organic,” he said, citing Jharcraft’s internationally recognised Onecert Asia certification.
Godda district’s Bhagaiya villagers are creating ghicha silk stoles for Jharcraft after being trained in weaving and dyeing NID-Ahmedabad designers.
“We had opened Shaheed Nirmal Mahto Jharkhand Silk Training Institute in 2007. Tribal artisans are engaged in reeling ghicha. Stoles are in attractive colours with tribal motifs. It is exclusive and will grow big in times to come,” said Jharcraft managing director Dhirendra Kumar.