Tussar silk is an exquisite material that is obtained from a special wide-winged moth called Antheraea Paphia. These yellowish-brown moths are a true wonder of Mother Nature. Their wings have circular markings which reflect images like a mirror. This means if you were to look into those markings, you would be able to see your reflection.
Tussar silk is a lighter variety of silk and is considered a breathable fabric. One can wear Tussar silk during the height of summer season and still feel cool.
History and Origin of Tussar Silk
Tussar silk is also known as Desi Tussar or Kosa silk. It is produced mainly in India. Tussar silk is highly prized for its naturally occurring gold colors. Tussar silk was discovered during the Medieval period. What sets it apart from regular silk is that the latter is fed mulberry leaves while Tussar silk worms are not. This makes Tussar silk more affordable but no less luxurious.
The state of Jharkhand is the central hub for Tussar silk production. This is a rural art form produced by women belonging to various tribes in that area. These women are trained in the technique of weaving silk threads out of the cocoons. Once the threads are obtained, the fabric is woven. It takes up to three days to complete ten meters of Tussar silk fabric. Each female who is employed in this industry weaves up to ten Tussar sarees every month. A single Tussar silk saree can range from Rupees 3,000 and up.
Although the production of Tussar silk is still done by hand, due to the increasing demand for this material much of it is now made through mechanized processes.
Tussar silk fabric is often transformed into sarees, suits and sometimes scarves. This material has a light gold sheen making it a suitable fabric for embroidery work and printed motifs. It is common to see floral and nature inspired motifs on Tussar silk.
Caring for Tussar Silk
Although a silk, Tussar is not very hard to maintain. This fabric should be dry cleaned and stored in a dry cupboard. Avoid getting stains on this material. Ironing your Tussar suit or saree will help to maintain its look and glow for a long time.
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