Krafts of India

Explore The Enchanting Beauty Of Tussar Silk

posted by Radhika Chugh November 19, 2016 0 comments
Tussar Silk

Once you travel through Bihar, you will come across this city called Bhagalpur which is one of the biggest producers of Silk (thereby named Bhagalpuri Silk) in India. When I was going through the roads of Bhagalpur, I found that the process of making Silk can be very enticing. Did you know that the silk that we wear comes from silkworms? Can you imagine that the saree or silk product you wear, is literally you wearing nature? Neither could I. So I started researching, and came across a world of things I didn’t know about Tussar Silk.

What Is Tussar Silk Exactly?

Alternatively known as ‘Kosa Silk’, Tussar Silk is known for its rich coarse texture and natural gold colour. India is the second largest producer of Tussar, and is globally recognised for the beautiful the products it makes. Tussar can also be spelled as Tassar, Tussur, Tusser, or Tussah, and it is said to be one of the most comfortable fabrics there are.This silk is pretty light and airy, despite being delicate and stiff in nature.  It is produced from the larvae of various species of silkworms, and the process of making it is incredibly interesting.

The Making Of Tussar Silk

Tussar is produced by silkworms who live in the wild forest. They belong to the ‘Terminalia’ species and eat the leaves of the trees they reside in. Tussar Silk gets its natural gold hue from these silkworms, feeding on Jamun or Oak trees. The cocoons of these Silkworms are boiled, which is imperative for the extraction of silk yarn and the manufacture of silk. Now, there are two ways of making Tussar silk, because of which they are called by different names:

  • VIOLENT SILK: It got its name from the process of killing the silkworms, by drying the cocoons in the sun. Leaving the larvae inside while boiling is considered to be the conventional way of making silk. Boiling is important as the cocoon softens and extraction of silk is easier.
  • NON-VIOLENT SILK: In this process, a particular variation is given to the silkworms during the drying of the cocoons, where they can leave the cocoon before it is soaked into boiling water. Because of this non-violent way of making Tussar, it is called ‘Ahimsa silk’ as well.

Quite a few women in rural and tribal areas indulge in the making of Tussar Silk. It takes about 3 days to finish a 10 meter cloth on average, and that is why the making of 10 Tussar Silk Saree by a single labourer may take up to a month.

Tussar Silk In India

Not only is India the second largest producer of Tussar, it also exclusively produces Indian Tussar (commonly known as Tropical Tussar) which is made by tribals. It is majorly produced in the Malda District (West Bengal) and Bhagalpur (Bihar) which is also known as Bhagalpuri Silk.

Tussar is also divided into various subcategories, namely:

  1. Katia
  2. Ghhichha
  3. Thigh Reeled Tussar
  4. Machine Reeled Tussar

And these categories can be used in various combinations, the results of which can either be – Mulberry Ghhichha or Tussar Ghhichha.

Tussar Silk Tussar Silk

Did You Know?

The clothes that are made out of tussar, have incredibly impressive thermal properties. A Tussar Silk Saree is the only thing which can be worn both during summers and winter because of its characteristics. They keep you cool during summers and warm during winters. Ain’t that the most convenient thing ever?

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