Assam Silk

Again, I am harking back to North-Eastern state of India: Assam. Still the land of mystery. I was going through imperial gazetteer of India and reading about Sibsagar, now bearing the moniker of “Sivasagar”. This district is famous for oil fields, tea and silk sarees. People from outside of Assam, who are posted there, especially in oil industry, buy silk sarees and take them to their hometowns for their womenfolk.

According to gazetteer, silk is obtained from three kinds of silk worms namely  eri(attacus recini), muga(antheraea assama) and pat (bambyx textor). The eri worm is fed on castor-oil (Ricinus communis), the muga on sum tree(Machilus Odaratissima) & pat on  mulberry tree (Morus indica). A fine white thread, which is much valued, is produced by feeding muga on  chapa(Magnolia griffithii) and the mezankuri(tetranethera polyantha) . Muga silk is produced in large quanitiies but pat is comparatively rare.

2 thoughts on “Assam Silk”

  1. Dear Madam
    Assamese people especially traditionally wore silk clothes. Thanks to movement of people from rest of India to and fro Assam, the silk sarees are purchased from shops in Asaam towns and taken home by visitors.
    The quality of silk and hence its price depend upon the worm which has produced it. The mentioned worms are botanically named which may not have any meaning for scientifically uninclined person.
    Pat variety is most costly. Now the silk is being produced in Manipur and Assam. The research is going on to increase the production of cocoons. It has been found that the worms which habit the natural vegetation give better yield for commercialization.

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