Bangeri in Karnataka, is the only place in India where official Indian flags are manufactured - by Karnataka Khadi Gramodyog Samyukta Sangha (KKGSS), the only federation entrusted with this job by the Government.
The unit is run entirely by a group of economically-backward women, completely dedicated to creating this symbol of national pride, that adorns the offices of the Prime Minister, the President, the bureaucrats etc.
The unit is accredited with ISI certification along with the authorization to sell the National flag across the country. The flags are made exactly according to BIS guidelines. Any violation of shapes, size, thread count, strength of yarn or colour can land the maker in jail. Made in 9 sizes, each flag follows the ratio of 3:2. And undergo 18 stages of quality check.
The process requires six steps:
- Hand spinning
- Hand weaving
- Bleaching and dyeing
- Chakra printing
- Stitching and
Khadi or spun cloth of cotton, silk or wool are the only materials allowed. There are two kinds of khadi used: Khadi-bunting for the body, and khadi-duck, which holds the flag to the pole. For the khadi-duck, there should be exactly 150 threads per square cm, 4 threads per stitch and weigh exactly 205 gm / sq. ft.
Only after the approval of the cloth by BIS, it is separated into 3 lots which are dyed saffron, white and green.
The Ashoka Chakra is printed on both sides of the white cloth, and the 24 spokes have to be exactly synchronized on both sides.
3 pieces of saffron, green and orange cloth are then stitched together according to specifications and the final product is ironed and packed. The BIS then checks again, and only after approval can the flag be sold.
This unmatched dedication towards the flag and the passion for perfection are why, even today, these are the only women trusted to make our flag.
Information courtesy: Shyam Steel