Tussar Silk is also known by its Sanskrit name 'Kosa Silk' and produced mainly in Jharkhand state of India. Tussar is valued for its rich texture and natural deep gold colour.
It is obtained from silk worms that do not breed on mulberry trees but breed on local trees like Sal, Arjun and Saja, and that is why they are also called as 'Wild Silk'. Tussar Silk is less expensive and durable as compared to cultivated silk because of its short fibre length.
The precisely finished and designer garments produced from Tussar Silk are world famous and are exported to various countries worldwide including Europe, Gulf and the United States.
How it is Made
Tussar Silk is produced by the larvae of several species of silk worms like Antheraea Mylitta, Antheraca Proylei, Antherea Pernyi and Antheraca Yamamai. The insects of these species are found mostly in wild forest, eating off the trees they live on. Their cocoons are collected which are single-shelled and oval in shape and are then boiled to extract the silk yarn from it. Boiling is indeed very important part in the manufacturing of silk as it softens the cocoon and makes the extraction of silk easier. In conventional sericulture, the cocoons are boiled with the larvae still inside, however if the cocoons are boiled after the larvae have left them, the silk made is then called by 'Non-Violent Silk' or 'Ahimsa Silk
Major part of Tussar Silk is produced in India. The Kharsawa district of Jharkhand in India is considered to be the epicentre and Jharkhand state alone accounts for more than 40% of total Tussar Silk production in India. Sericulture is managed by the skilled tribal work force of the region and is the most viable income generation source for them.
Tussar is also manufactured in the towns of Chattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra, West Bengal & Andhra Pradesh.
- It has rich coarse texture.
- It is light and airy.
- It gives a cool comfort feeling.
- It is delicate and stiff in nature.
- It has different natural shades.
- Dry cleaning is the safest option for Tussar.
- Dry cleaned Tussar should not be wrapped in plastic. Silks need to breathe.
- In case you want to hand wash your Tussar fabric, use cold water and a mild liquid soap meant for delicate clothes.
- Do not wring excess water out. Dry fabric in shade as sun may cause the fabric to fade.
- Wash dark colors separately and never use chemical bleach.
Did you Know?
- You can also identify pure silk. Take a few threads from the warp and the weft and set their ends alight. When they are fully burnt, smell the ash. If it smells like burnt hair, you have just burnt some pure silk. If it doesn’t, and in fact the residue is solid, it is not silk, but some synthetic material.
- Tussar silk production has become an economic lifeline for villagers in Maoist-affected areas in Jharkhand. It offers a means of livelihood in a state where the Maoists have a stronghold in 18 of the 22 districts.
- India has the unique distinction of being the only country in the world producing all the commercially known varieties of silk - mulberry, Tussar (both tropical and temperate), Eri, and Muga.