Eri – The Non Violent Silk

Silk is a lustrous fabric woven with yarns obtained from mulberry worms as well as other types of silk moths. These yarns are woven with different combinations of weft and warp to make silk fabrics that vary in texture and fall. Moreover, different regions of India have their own versions of silk sarees that reflects the culture of that place.
Silk is an all time favourite fabric in India and abroad.India is the second largest producer of silk next to China and it has an enormous variety in silk. Silk is cultivated and produced in different parts of our country which becomes a part of our cultural identity of that region. Silk fabrics are an icon of royalty and uniqueness.
Nowadays we get to see a lot of plant eaters and vegans and a huge awareness is evident among people in terms of health, food and fashion. We come across the term ‘sustainability’ more often and when we talk about sustainable fashion the first thing which comes to my mind as a designer is Eri Silk which is originated from Assam and Meghalaya.
Unlike other silk worms or cocoons the Samia Cynthia moth spins an open-ended cocoons and it gets transcended in to beautiful moths. Since the cocoons are open-ended it allows to moth to leave and enter the cocoon through the opening. It means the worms are not killed in order to obtain the silk threads and that it can complete the process of metamorphosing in to a moth, hatch and breed. Unlike other silks, the moth is allowed to leave the cocoons before the Eri Silk is extracted. Hence this fabric is named as ahimsa silk, non – violent silk, peace or vegan silk.
They’re usually yellowish white or golden cream in colour and have a fabulous sheen in them.
These Samia Cynthia worms feeds on castor leaves which are called era in Assamese. These castor plants doesn’t need much water for cultivation and even sustains drought conditions and needs very minimal space for cultivation which provides small and marginal farmers a good income source.
When other natural fibres like cotton and linen needs more water for cultivation, these Eri Silk fibre is technically a waste in itself and no additional resources are spent by nature in its making. The cocoons are completely used to make yarns without any wastage and it’s the best way of nature’s up cycling.
95% of Eri Silk is produced in the northern part of our country. The tribal communities in Assam do the authentic production of Ericulture and make some reasonable profits.
Let’s support and appreciate this most sustainable and non violent silk. Let’s feel proud that we have all necessary resources available here and make use of them at its best.
Swaroopa Muthusivan
Founder and Creative Entrepreneur
Tamarai Design Studio

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