The Timeless Tussar !

If you swear by Tussar and it's timeless traditional and classy look and feel, it's time to know more about this heritage form of silk. Tussar is a pure silk and a raw silk. It is one among the four main varieties of silk - mulberry, eri and muga.

The most common silk is the mulberry silk. Tussar differs from mulberry mainly because the silkworm from which it is produced does not eat mulberry leaves, the colour of the cocoons from which they are produced is different; the processing of the two silks is somewhat different too and the fibre length and toughness is different. Finally, all this leads to an exclusive look and feel. Tussar is unique in its golden glow and coarse, raw, paper-like texture.

Tussar is a raw and wild form of silk because it is derived from a wild moth called "Antheraea Mylitta" that lives on juniper and oak leaves. This moth has a wide wing and is yellowish-brown in colour, that which gives the original Tussar it's golden sheen. It is all about it's unique look and feel that makes Tussar lovers fall in love with this fabric again and again. Tussar stands apart due to its natural golden glow, raw touch and rich look and feel. It is richer in texture than mulberry silk. The coloured forms of it that has become very popular these days and has a lustrous finish.

Rich in texture, Tussar also has a rich heritage and history. Tussar silk is a pride of the expert crafts community of eastern India, mainly West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya. Though not much is known about it's orgin with certainty, it can be traced back to the 16th century literature and the term Tussar is derived from the Sanskrit word "trasara", which means shuttle. Kosa silk is, however, the Sanskrit name for Tussar silk.

There are two types of Tussar depending on where it is found. Those found in states of Jharkand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal are called tropical Tussar. The temperate Tussar is found in the states of Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya, in the Himalayan foothills. Tussar can be further divided into various subcategories depending on how it is produced such as Katia, Ghhichha, thigh reeled and machine reeled.

Tussar is produced by the process of sericulture or silk farming just like all other silks. Sericulture is the process of cultivating, breeding, and managing silk worms from which silk is produced. It was first practiced in China. This production is a booming cottage industry, mostly in China and India.

Tussar silk is produced in China, Sri Lanka and Japan other than India. India is the second largest producer of Tussar. In India, it is a rural and indigenous art that was traditionally mainly handcrafted by women. It is mainly practiced in and around forest areas, where the silkworms grow. Hence, it has a rustic and wild touch to it, which makes it so special.

Tussar cultivation involves hard labour and it is difficult to dye. However, creators like Kamaniya take all the trouble to bring out a variety of coloured Tussar. So, join the Kamaniya Tussar club and make the best of this versatile form of silk.