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Sualkuchi Silk

Listed under Industrial in Guwahati, India.

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Photo by flickr user ReefRaff
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Silk is a very major industry in Assam – and a labour-intensive one - and the three varieties of high-quality Assamese silk are used to produce shawls, gamosa cloths and the fine, shimmering mekhela chador (a kind of two-piece sari) fabric.

Muga silk is smooth, shiny and cream-coloured, and comes from silkworms that have fed on 'som' and 'suala' plants and Pat silk is a pure, snowy white and is produced by mulberry leaf-eating silkworms. Eri, the one for silkworm-sympathisers, is thicker and softer than other varieties and comes from castor leaf-eating silkworms which are allowed to complete their pupation stage and emerge as moths before their empty cocoons are processed into the fabric. Normally, the larvae die because the cocoons are harvested before the pupae have matured, and this is contrary to the 'ahimsa' (non-violent) principles of the Indian Jainist religion, which is why a number of silk farmers produce Eri silk instead.

Most of the silk processing takes place in Sualkuchi, where it is an ancient cottage industry, to the extent that the town is appealingly known as the 'Manchester of the East'.

Written by  larapiegeler.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

can i buy a pair of sador mekhela

i want a pair of sadar mekhela from it possible

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