SILK...BEATS THE CRAP OUT OF POLYESTER!
Posted on December 29 2022
When we think of the Indian woman, inevitably we think of a lady clad in a beautiful magnificent saree. India is home to a rich variety of natural fibers that are used to produce some of the finest fabrics in the world. The Indian silk saree is one such unique creation that has gained worldwide recognition. The silk fabric too has a wide variety of quality, texture, and color. One of the most highly regarded silk fabrics are the Tussar silk sarees in Kolkata. Primarily produced in parts of West Bengal, Bihar, and Jharkhand, Tussar sarees give an elegant and sophisticated traditional look.
Tussar silk, also called Kosa Silk, is obtained from the larvae of silkworms oft he moth genus Antiheroes. These silkworms breed on the trees of Sal, Arjun, and Saja that are mostly found in the wild forests only. Hence, Tussarsilk is also known as the ‘wild silk’. When these silk moths are boiled, they produce natural golden-hued threads. Boiling the cocoons of the silkworms is the most crucial step of the silk manufacturing process. Some of the tribal groups boil the cocoons after the larvae have left them. The silk produced from such cocoons is referred to as ‘Ahimsa silk’. Tussar silk production is a major occupation among the Tribal in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and West Bengal. A majority of Tussar silk sarees are hand-woven by tribal women with each saree taking about three days to be complete. They are produced by completely natural and eco-friendly methods. Tussar silk threads are unique because of their natural golden hue with a shimmery texture. The sarees are mostly produced in lighter shades of cream, beige, or brown. They are naturally dyed in darker colors to give it a richer and more glamorous look. The Tussar silk saree shops in Kolkata source most of their sarees from Bhagalpur, Bihar as the region produces a large portion of original Tussar sarees. Tussar silk is sometimes also referred to as Bhagalpur silk. The Tales of Tussar
Tussar silk never goes out of style, when you want to keep it classic and casual. The unbleached, dull gold shine is a perfect base for printing, painting or embellishing the saris. Tussar silk fiber is made of the protein secreted by the silkworm; its natural sheen, lightweight and affinity for dyes make it a great choice as a fabric. Silks of India are classified based on the varieties of silkworms from which they are spun. What makes a Tussar silk unique is that it is indigenous, and comes from the Antheraea moths, which feed on the trees in the wild forests, and that's the reason why they are referred to as "wild silk".
Here’s a snapshot of the varieties of silks of India, and how a Tussar silk is different:
1. Mulberry silk - The light yellow colored fine silk from the silkworm of the moth Bombyx Mori, which feeds on the mulberry leaves. The Chinese were the pioneers to cultivate Mulberry silk and traded through their “silk route” which connected China to Rome.
2. Eri silk - The creamy white silks from North East of India, where the silk is spun from open-ended cocoons. The silkworms feed on castor leaves, and the cocoons are made up of uneven fibers. So Eri silk is always spun and not reeled. Eri silk is called Ahimsa silk since the moths are allowed to emerge before the cocoons are spun into yarn.
3. Muga silk - The golden-colored silk from the silkworms which feed on the Som and Soalu plants, and a rare and expensive silk
4. Tussar Silk - The copperish colored coarse silk generated by the silkworms of the moth Antheraea mylitta which thrives on the trees of Asan and Arjun. The rearing of this silkworm is conducted on trees in the wild.
The Uniqueness of Tussar Sarees
The most fascinating aspect of Tussar silk sareesis that they are the first of its kind where the silkworms breed on wild forest trees, and not mulberry trees. This is what makes them more affordable than pure mulberry silk sarees.The Bhagalpuri silk industry is more than a few centuries old. It is most famous for its production of hand-woven Tussar silk sarees, a tradition that has been passed down through generations of weaver families. Tussar silk fabrics are porous in nature, which makes them super comfortable to be worn in hot climates. These sarees are lightweight and are easy and convenient to be draped around. Tussar silk produces shorter fibres, which makes it less durable. Thus, they need to be properly maintained. The best way to take care of this rich fabric is to always dry clean them. Keep your Tussar sarees in a muslin bag to allow the fabric to breathe. The natural golden hue of Tussar silk sarees makesthema perfect choice for special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, cocktail parties, and receptions. The shimmery texture makes the fabric refract different shades at different angles, making you stand out in a crowd. Insanely beautiful Tussar Silk Sarees to Spice Up Your Special Day
India is a country with a rich variety of natural fibers denoting our composite tradition. It is the hub of some of the finest fabrics in the world. Among the different varieties of silks, tussar is often crowned to be the queen of silks. This makes tussar silk mandatory attire in every woman’s wardrobe. Tussar silk is also known by its Sanskrit name “Kosa silk”. It is mainly produced in the states of Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. Tussar silk is priced as per its rich texture and natural gold color. Tussar silks are also made into other outfits such as shirts, kurtas, and dupattas. Tussar silk is obtained from silkworms that feed on the leaves of the trees Saja, Arjun and Sal. “Wild silk” is another name for Tussar silk. Tussar silk is obtained from silk moths of the Antheraea mylitta species. When boiled, these silk moths produce naturally gold-colored threads. The cocoons of the silk moths are single-shelled and are oval in shape. Boiling the cocoons is the most important part of manufacturing silk. This also makes it easier to take out the silk. This is necessary to mention that if the cocoons are boiled after the larvae have left it, it is called “Ahimsa silk”.
Tussar silk saree gives an amazingly sophisticated traditional look. The permeable and slender feature of saree makes it comfortable for wearing in hot and humid season also. There is a wide variety of exclusive designs flooded in the market for parties, traditional functions, cocktail parties which boosters women with unchallenged and splendid confidence. The saree is easier to drape and carry. Famous Designers like Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra have experimented with the fabric and even Bollywood Divas also appear with majestic looks from these kinds of tussar silk sarees.
Tussar silk suffered a show-down during the Industrial Revolution, as did all other Indian woven fabrics. However, patronage by leading politicians and movie personalities helped tussar silk to revive in a vibrant manner. The lovely tussar is finding its footing again with government agencies in West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, and Jharkhand taking active steps in making tussar weaving, a living option for many families in these places. Tussar silk needs to be maintained in order to keep its beauty intact. Dry cleaning the tussar silk is the best way to take care of this rich fabric. In case you are cleaning tussar saree at home, do not wring the excess water from the saree. You must dry the saree in the shade as the color may fade if it is dried outside under sunshine. Do not use any chemical bleach at all. Using cold water and mild detergent to will ensure the shine and longevity of the magnificent tussar silks.
India was the place of the origin of tasar moth. China was home to Mulberry or Chinese silk, which has been mentioned as Cinapatta (Chinese Silk Bundle) in Chanakya’s Arthashastra.
While the generic term for silk in Sanskrit was kauseya, the term tasar is traced to the Sanskrit name, tasara, the weaver's shuttle, as referred to in Rig Veda. Silk fabric always has a special place in Indian textiles, and it is auspicious to be draped in one, especially during rituals.Over the years, Tussar sarees have brought its patrons a rustic texture and a great drape. We are delighted to showcase a range of Tussar saris with a blend of kosa, silk, cotton, jute and linen, which are year-round winners!
With a gamut of earthy rustic colour palette and handcrafted techniques, this Tussar collection is an epitome of elegance. Fabric Care: Silk becomes weak when soaked in water, and detergents erode its natural lustre. Dry cleaning is the best way to care of Tussar silk.