Silk Weaving Tradition of Assam

Eri Silk Weaver of Assam Pic Source: Utsavpedia

Silk has been closely associated with the Indian culture. The Silks of India stand out with their soft textures and aesthetic appeal. There are four types of natural silk produced in India. These are known as Mulberry silk, Tasar silk, Muga silk, and Eri silk.

Silk production and weaving are an intrinsic part of Assamese culture. Assam is the third largest silk producing state in the country, sharing around 15% of country’s total raw silk production. In Assam silk farming-the cultivation of silkworms is dominated by mulberry (Pat) silk, which is white; the golden Muga; and the warm but coarse Eri. It accounts for the country’s entire production of Muga silk and 98 per cent of Eri silk. Muga and eri are non-mulberry silks and pat is mulberry silk. All three have completely different look & feel and qualities. Like Pat silk is white/off-white, Muga is honey hued, while Eri is cream/off-white. These silks are categorized according to the kind of silkworms from which they are derived.

The country is also the second largest silk producer in the world after China. Top 5 silk-producing states in India are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Jammu & Kashmir.
Pic Source: InsightsOnIndia

  Muga Silk

The golden muga silk is unique to India in the world. Muga silk is a protected geographical indication (GI) to Assam. Known for its durability and lustre, muga silk owns the top position where demand is concerned. The lustre and suppleness of this silk increases with time, unlike any other silk in the world.
Pic Source: Jharonka

Eri Silk

Eri silk, also called Ahimsa silk or peace silk is a non-violent silk which does not require to kill the moth to extract the fiber. It is one of the most sustainable fabrics in the world. 100% of the cocoon can be used to make yarns and, in turn, fabrics. Stoles intricately woven with a combination of eri silk cotton are very popular souvenir of Assam.
Pic Source: GrandmasLegacy

Pat Silk

Pat silk is a variety of domestic mulberry silk produced in Assam. The larvae feeds on white mulberry plant leaves, locally called Nuni, hence it is also referred to as Nuni Pat.

The silk has a natural white tint and is known for its durability and glossy texture.

In Assam, Pat is mainly used to make traditional dresses such as Mekhela Chador ( a wedding attire of the east), Dhoti and Saree wrapper.
Pic Source: GetKraft

Posted by Meghadipa Roy Chowdury

Leave a Reply