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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”. It was once the capital of Ahoms. They came from China to India through Eastern corridor and settled here for good. Over the time they adopted the Hindu religion.

This district is very rich in natural resources. It is famous for oil fields, tea and silk sarees. There are many shops is the town selling the exquisite sarees. These shops are mostly owned by Marwari people who are traders and settled here centuries ago. 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.

Assam Silks

According to gazetteer, silk is obtained from three kinds of silk worms namely Eri (attacus recini), Muga (antheraea assama) and Pat (bambyx textor). Each worm is fed specific leaves. The Eri worm is fed on Castor oil plant leaves. Muga is fed on Sum tree and Pat worm on Mulberry tree leaves.

A fine white thread, which is much valued, is produced by feeding Muga on  Chappa Tree leaves and Mezankuri. Muga silk is produced in large quantities. Pat is the costliest and rare. The worms are raised in North Eastern states like Assam and Manipur.

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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