Updated: Jan 27
We all know there are different kinds of silk sarees such as Kanjivaram silk sarees, Banarasi silk sarees, etc. But these primarily refer to the region in which the silk yarn is woven into a silk saree. What are the different kinds of silk used to weave sarees? Read on to find out!
Most silk sarees are made from mulberry silk due to their texture and softness
This is the most commonly used type of silk in the world. Mulberry here refers to the mulberry leaves fed to the worms from which this silk is derived from. This silk has a very soft texture and hence is the silk of choice to weave sarees. The main drawback of this silk is the care required to maintain the soft texture of the fabric. Mulberry silk is produced both in India and China. Although there are slight differences in the thickness of the yarn and fiber strength, both are essentially produced from the same worm species ‘Bombyx mori’.
Tassar silk has a unique feel to it and a signature light yellow tone in its raw form
Tassar silk refers to the silk derived from several species of wild silk worms. These silk worms dwell in forest regions and feed on the leaves of the trees they live on. There is a variation of tassar silk production process in which the silk worm is allowed to break out of the cocoon before the cocoon is boiled. The silk produced by this method is termed as ‘ahimsa silk’, referring to the nonviolent nature of production. Tassar silks have a notable golden texture and are of much shorter fibers compared to mulberry silk. Tassar silk sarees are very popular in various regions of India.
Eri silk worms feed on the leaves of the castor plant and the silk produced has a woolen white tone
This silk is named after the assamese word ‘Era’ for castor, since the worms are fed on the leaves of castor plants. The silk has a woolen white color and the silk worm used to produce this silk is domesticated similar to the mulberry silkworm. Eri silk is often produced without killing the worm and hence can be categorized as ahimsa silk. It is durable, elastic and slightly heavier than other kinds of silk.
Muga silk has a characteristic yellow tone
This silk is produced from silk worms endemic to the region of Assam in India. The silk has a yellowish tint and a glossy texture, making it suitable for weaving sarees. The silk worms feed on the leaves of som and soalu plants. Again, sarees woven with muga silk have a unique texture and are quite popular among vegans and lovers of nonviolent silk.