Silk Fabric

 

 

Silk has been a highly revered fabric in India. It is also associated with ceremonial rites of ancient India. The softness, smoothness, luster and its graceful and sensuous folds of the fabric are marvels for designing.

Silk Saris

Silk saris are often created with zari. The main silk weaving centers are Banaras, Surat, Chander, Murshidabad, Mysore, Assam, Kanchepuram, Tanjore, and Dharmavaram. Silk saris are popular all cross India for their shine and glamour.

Key Centers of Silk Production

Banaras is one of the leading silk sari producing centers of India. It is known for its heavy gold-silver brocades. Jamvar, Navrangi (nine colors), Jamdani etc are other brocade types from the range of Banarasi saris.

Gujarat boasts of Patola silk saris executed in the resist dying technique. There are two types of Patola saris; the Rajkot patola and Patan patola. The notable feature of Patola saris are use of bright colors and geometric designs interspersed with folk motifs.

Paithani silk saris of Maharashtra, decorated with the gold dot or coin motif are equally stunning. While Ganeshpur, a village in Bhandara district in the same state is known for its Kosa silk.

In central India i.e. Madhya Pradesh stands out for its Chanderi, Maheshwari and Tussar silk saris

The other notable centers are Murshidabad for Baluchari sari and Tanjore, Kumbakonam and Kancheepuram for their heavy silk saris and Sangareddy and Dharmaswaram in Andhara Pradesh for ikat silk weave.

Production of Silk

Silk worms are reared in different parts of India. There are various species of silk worms that are cultivated in India, the most popular being the mulberry silk moth of China-Bombay Mori - besides the Mooga, Tasar and Eri.

Silk is a fibrous substance produced by many insects principally in the form of a cocoon or covering within which the creature is enclosed and protected during the period of its principal transformation. Usually there are three crops per year of cocoons. Starting from July-August, September-October and November-December.

Each crop acts as a seed cocoon for the next one till the third one has matured. There are two varieties of silk- pure silk and blended silk. The process before the silk is obtained starts with the laying of the egg by the mother moth followed by the emergence of the caterpillar or larvae which weaves a cocoon (also known as pupa or chrysalis) and then the yarn is procured.

The tasar yarn is procured from a fully matured worm while pure silk is obtained from a cultivated one. Tussore (spelt and pronounced in various ways) is the fabric made from the fiber of the Antheraea Paphia which is found in the forest areas of different parts of India.

Today silk is not just restricted to saris. A wide range of ladies' and men's wear like dupattas, garments, fabrics, caps, handkerchiefs, scarves, dhotis, turbans, shawls, ghagras or lehengas, and even quilts, bedcovers, cushions, table-cloths curtains are made of silk.

Grading Silk

Silk is graded in deniers; Today silk is not just restricted to saris. A wide range of ladies' and men's wear like dupattas, garments, fabrics, caps, handkerchiefs, scarves, dhotis, turbans, shawls, ghagras or lehengas, and even quilts, bedcovers, cushions, table-cloths curtains are made of silk.