Agripedia

Know Everything about Assam Silk

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Assam Silk

Sericulture also known as silk farming is the process of breeding silkworms for producing silk. Silkworm breeding can be observed all over the world as well as in many states of our own country. Different kinds of silk are produced all over the world i.e. mulberry, non-mulberry, coan, spider among many others. Silk currently rules the commercial space due to its demand in the fashion world. Silk acts as a blank canvas upon which the designers bring their art to life.  

In India, alongside all the silk producing states, Assam has been one of the unique silk producers of the country. Assam produces rare silks that are available in the market namely; muga, pat and eri. Muga silk is golden in colour, whereas pat and eri silk are white in colour. Assam considers silk rearing as part of their contemporary culture and tradition. In Assam, many small-scale industries are associated with silk as rearing silk does not require large investment and provides employment to many people as the industry is very labour intensive. 

Assam Silk: 

Assam being majorly acclaimed for its tea gardens is also renowned for its silk. Specially muga silk, which is indigenous to the region. The heritage of producing silk has been followed for ages in Assam and has become a global trend in the recent times. Assam is known for Muga, Pat and Eri silks and all the major handloom industries of the state are associated with the production of the same. Both Muga and Eri silk falls under non-mulberry silk group and pat silk falls under mulberry silk group.  

Muga silk is received from Antheraea assamensis worm, and a golden colour silk thread is extracted from it, which is very much unique because of its consistency, brightness and endurance. These worms live on som and sualu leaves.  

Silk Saree

Pat silk is received from Bombyx textor worm, and a white colour silk thread is extracted from it, which is known for its brightness and quality. Along with India, many other countries also breed Bombyx textor worms for pat silk production. 

Eri silk also known as Endi silk is received from Philosamia ricini worm, which feeds on castor leaves. White silk is derived which is very soft in texture and normally used for the production of scarfs and blankets.

Apart from the above three types of silks, Assam has now started trading in other silks as well such as Tassah etc. 

Sualkuchi: 

Sualkuchi is located in the Kamrup district of Assam. It is considered as the hub of  sericulture and textile industry. The people of Sualkuchi were best known for their works such as pottery, oil processing etc. in the first world times, however with time the people have taken up sericulture and weaving as their major occupation and continuing to do wonders in the same.  

This sericulture industry of Sualkuchi is majorly ruled by the women of the place as most of the activities are home based. Around 50% of the women of the region are occupied with different works related to sericulture. The men take care of the marketing and textile production activities.  

Many government schemes and initiatives have been introduced in the past and in the recent times as well for the upliftment of the industry. 

Conclusion

Sericulture is a major part of Assam’s ancestry and is followed as a tradition by the people of Assam. The industry also helps in the upliftment of the agricultural economy and employment. Further cooperation from the government and other support groups will definitely aid in the development of sericulture as a industry and the region’s economy as a whole. 

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