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Dindigul Lock and Kandangi Saree, Tamil Nadu's Two Iconic Products, Get GI Tag

The Dindigul locks are known throughout the world for their superior quality and durability. It is so famous that even the city is called Lock City.

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Updated:August 30, 2019, 11:40 AM IST
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Dindigul Lock and Kandangi Saree, Tamil Nadu's Two Iconic Products, Get GI Tag
(Image: Dindigul ANS website)
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The Dindigul lock and the Kandangi sarees were given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by The Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai on Thursday, August 29. The application for the lock was made by the Dindigul Lock, Hardware and Steel Furniture Workers Industrial Co-operative Society Limited, while for Kandangi saree, application was filed by the Amarar Rajeev Gandhi Handloom Weavers Co-operative Production (ARGHWCS) and Sales Society Limited in 2013.

Deputy Registrar of Geographical Indications, Chinnaraja G. Naidu said, “Dindigul lock and Kandangi saree were registered today (Thursday).” He further said that both the products were losing their sheen in the market, and the GI tag would help them get some recognition.

Though the products with a history spanning for a few centuries have got the GI tag, the next big challenge for those who toiled for getting the GI tag for their products would be encouraging more buyers.

The Dindigul locks are known throughout the world for their superior quality and durability. It is so famous that even the city is called Lock City. The abundance of iron in the region is the main reason for the growth of the lock-making industry.

The locks are made of iron and brass and are entirely handmade. It takes a couple of days to be made. It is unique as each is designed with different lever pattern.

These lock manufacturing units are limited to an area of 5 km in and around Dindigul. There are over 50 varieties of locks including mango lock, trick lock, door lock, and bell lock among others. The most interesting ones are the Kolaikaran pootu (burglar lock) which is designed in a manner that a knife would come out if a wrong key is inserted.

Despite unique features, the lock industry for the last few years has been gradually dying due to stiff competition from Aligarh and Rajapalayam.

Kandangi saree

The famous bright-coloured Kandangi saree, manufactured in Karaikudi taluk in Sivaganga district are spun by skilled weavers in the dimension 60 warp X 60 weft. Highly quality cotton from Coimbatore is used to make the saree. The main characteristic of the saree is its bright colours that hold strong.

The manufacturers have been facing challenges similar to Dindigul locks. The market has plethora of sarees that are woven in other parts of the State and look akin to the Kandangi saree.

The original Kandangi saree is manually made using a winding machine, loom, shuttle and bobbin. It is a team effort of the families who live in the town of Karaikudi and it forms part of their livelihood.

The Kandangi sarees, which are usually around 5.10 meters – 5.60 meters in length, are characterised by the large contrast borders, and some of them are known to have borders covering as much as two-thirds of the saree.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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