Tussar or Kosa silk is considered to be forest produce. The silkworms that weave the silk live in the wild forest in trees belonging to Terminalia species and Shorea robusta as well as other food plants like Asan, Arjun, Jamun and Oak eating off the leaves of the trees they live on. Tussar silk is considered forest produce because the cocoons used to be collected from the forest until they began to be reared by the weaving community. Can you tell that we are researching well for our book, Ally & I ?
So Tussar isn’t like Southern India’s soft mulberry silk. It is more textured, though it is less durable than the Kanjeevarams of the south.The saree I wear, however, is a majestic tussar woven in checks with crushed tussar forming the boxes. On the aanchal is a weave of subtle colours that keeps the saree understated and dignified.
The natural Tussar sheen is even more bright for me, because when I bought this saree, more than 20 years ago, I was told this was Ahimsa Silk. The cocoons are boiled once the larvae have left them.
There has always been this debate about the killing of larvae by boiling them. What’s the fuss they say if the moth will only live for three days anyway ?
Ask a dying man if he would like to have 72 more hours to live.
Not all the silk sarees I have are ahimsa silk, but I do to look for them as often as I can.
I bought this saree in Bombay, where I lived then, from a store that sourced sarees from West Bengal. It was an expensive saree for me, given my prudent salary. But really, some sarees are like jewels. You invest in them and enjoy wearing them for years to come. Agree ?
So today I was in full Rani ( queen ) mode. Dressed up more than usual for a work day. But loving it. Paying tribute to the Emperor moths that spun the yarn that this saree was woven with…
Ally swung by just before I stepped out to a lunch date. So here we are saying hello to you all, and thanking you for making the pact yours.
saree #64 #100sareepact