Ahimsa silk is a method of non-violent silk breeding and harvesting. With this method, the cocoon is used after the moth emerges, so as not to kill the moth. In what has been called “Peace silk”, marketed under the name of Ahimsa silk, the fiber is extracted after the worm has completed metamorphosis and emerged from the cocoon. It is also known as the eri silkmoth. We have our own indigenous strains of Tussar, Eri, Muga etc. He was working in Andhra Pradesh’s handloom department in the early 1990s when ex-president R Venkatarman’s wife, Janaki, who was on a state visit to the silk manufacturing facilities, asked Rajaiah if silk could be made without killing the caterpillars. These ideals appeal to religions like Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism whose followers forego all injury to other forms of life. Here the moths break out of the cocoon and are able to survive in the wild, leaving behind the silk. Ahimsa silk, though popular with the followers of It allows the completion of the metamorphosis of the silkworm to its moth stage, whereas most silk harvesting requires the silkworms to be killed in their cocoon stage. Hyderabad based Kusuma Rajaiah began thinking about the ways silk was produced in the country while he was working at the Andhra Pradesh State Handloom Weavers Cooperative (APCO) Society. AHIMSHA SILK – THE CRUELTY-FREE SOLUTION Even though the yarn originated in China in the Neolithic age, it has been popular in India for centuries (and until recently, India was the largest consumer of silk in the world). Home Products Fabrics Tussar Silk. What’s wrong with silk? Ahimsa Silk method was invented in the early 2000s by Kusuma Rajaiah. The larva begins molting when the head turns darker and may molt about four times after which the body turns sli… The brand’s founder, Amy Powney collaborated with TV channel, BBC Earth on a sustainability project including a panel series at London Fashion Week, a short film and this remarkable collection, which proves that sustainable clothes can go beyond their earthy, hippie stereotypical aesthetic to look truly luxurious. “We dispensed with the conventional method of boiling live silk worms in their cocoons to extract the requisite filament/thread,” says Rajaiah. While Bombyx mori caterpillars are used for the majority of silk manufacturing, the Ahimsa Silk made in Assam comes from Philosamia ricini, a silkworm species … This process is divided into several stages but typically starts from cultivating silkworm on mulberry leaves. Most production is after the rice harvest in the southern and northeastern parts of … The commercial cultivation of the silkworm is also known as Sericulture in scientific language. The cocoons are left as it is for a week or 10 days. "Ahimsa" is the Hindu word for "non-violence." The larvae are covered in tiny dark hair. Tussar Silk Tussar Silk is also known by its Sanskrit name 'Kosa Silk' and produced mainly in Jharkhand state of India. Need for Authentic branding. It was Chinese Empress Xi Lingshiwho is credited with discovering this illustrious fabric. Eri, Muga and tussar silks are examples of wild silk. This type of silk is produced from Bombyx mori silkworms that eat exclusively mulberry leaves. Ahimsa silk is a method of non-violent silk breeding and harvesting. “The question was first planted in my mind in the early 1990s when Janaki Venkataraman, former President R Venkataraman’s wife, asked me if there … To obtain silk, distributors boil the worms alive inside their cocoons. The fabric produced by this method is of poor quality, more like wool. It is a very peaceful, non-violent way of harvesting silk and a real wonder of nature . Due to the broken strands, less of the silk is usable for textile production, so Ahimsa silk costs more than conventional silk. answered 1 day ago by Zabya (44.7k points) selected 1 day ago by Pahi . It is also known as Peace silk. Types of silks and where to buy Indian silks online from outside India. The worms are boiled or blasted with steam by manufacturers to collect the cocoons, and this process kills the pupae. He holds both a Patent (Application Number 217/MAS/2002) and a Trademark (Application Number 1495103, Class 24) for Ahimsa Silk from the Government of India. Search for Information. Knowledge Desk. But maybe not, … Silk is harvested from the cocoons of the larvae of the silk moth. “Instead, we allow the silk moths to pierce their cocoons naturally and come out from their metamorphosis and live their fullest life peacefully. Ahimsa Silk, also known as Peace Silk, is processed from cocoons without killing the pupae inside. Silk is the fiber that silkworms weave to make cocoons. Thus, Kusuma Rajaiah (from India) found a new technique of producing silk without killing the silkworms and named it as “Ahimsa Silk”. Both ahimsa and non-ahimsa mulberry silk are produced commercially. Wild silk moths are bred, rather than the domestic variety. Other vegan or cruelty free silks are Spider silk and Art silk. One fine day in 27th century BCE, the Empress was enjoying a cup of tea beneath the mulberry trees when a cocoon fell into her cup. To … “We dispensed with the conventional method of boiling live silk worms in their cocoons to extract the requisite filament/thread,” says Rajaiah. Who invented the Ahimsa silk? As much as we love this fine fabric, in the age of conscious fashion, it’s important to understand the production practices behind our choices. It was Mahatma Gandhi’s dream to produce silk without killing worms, but unf… In contrast, the less humane process takes about 15 minutes. Silk comes from the cocoons of the silk worm (bombyx mori). He invented the method for producing silk using an eco-friendly way and without the need for killing the silk worms. Rajaiah is heavily influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent philosophy. Other Indian designers like Wendell Rodricks, Divya Ahluwalia (founder of label, Akira Ming) and Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama have embraced ahimsa silk and used it in their stylish collections. “Hollywood celebrities like Courtney Cox have been spotted in it, the Duchess of Cornwall ordered Ahimsa silk to make pyjamas for Prince Charles, and I’ve also presented an Ahimsa silk garment to the Pope at the Vatican in 2017,” says Rajaiah. My goal is that everyone should have at least one Ahimsa silk product in their wardrobe.” After a 27-year-long career, the government of Telangana also recognised Rajaiah as an ‘Eminent Personality’ in 2018. Ahimsa silk is a method of non-violent silk breeding and harvesting. Ahimsa silk is not cruelty free silk. The resulting silk is usually of a slightly harsher texture but still can be used to weave exquisite sarees. Even though Ahimsa silk is costlier and more time-consuming to produce than regular silk, Rajaiah’s product has domestic and well as international demand. Ahimsa silk is made is an eco-friendly way. “There’s been dramatic increase in people identifying as vegans in the US, UK, Portugal and Australia, which is the fastest growing vegan market in the world,” he says. Grown in India where the Indian culture celebrates Ahimsa & Non-Violence. To understand the entire process of Silk Production, we must understand how the yarn is produced from the worm. Ahimsa silk makes up a relatively small percentage of total sales. The female silkworm lays 300-400 eggs and insulates them on the leaves of the mulberry tree. While the Bombyx mori (also called mulberry silkworm or mulberry silk moth) are the preferred species for creating ahimsa silk, there are a few other types of species that fall under the category of ahimsa silk, which is defined not necessarily by the species of the moth involved but by the methods for harvesting the cocoon. It only costs 1 1/2 times more than the conventional silk" said Mr. Rajaiah, handloom technologist animals in daily life; class-7; Share It On Facebook Twitter Email. The pupa is allowed to hatch and the leftover cocoon is then used to create silk. But sometimes the hazards cause them to lose their eyes; so they need to be protected. As the cocoon began to unravel itself, the Empress admired the beauty of the shimmering threads. Products. This inflates the cost of nonviolent silk, which is priced at roughly 6,000 rupees (US$92) per kilogram—about twice the price of the regular kind. If any disease is found, the eggs are destroyed. It allows the completion of the metamorphosis of the silkworm to its moth stage, whereas most silk harvesting requires the silkworms to be killed in their cocoon stage. The process of silk production begins when the female silk Bombyx mori moths lay their eggs. Ahimsa silk may also be manufactured from Tasar and tussah silks, leaving the moths to their own designs. For Indians especially, silks belong in our trousseaus, are worn on happy festivals, and are even passed down generations as family heirlooms. Anyone who has ever seen worms startle when their dark homes are uncovered must acknowledge that worms are sensate—they produce endorphins and have a physical response to pain. Ahimsa stands for non-violence and respect for every living being on Earth. At silk-production facilities in India, silkworms who are allowed to mature into moths fare little better than those who were boiled alive inside their cocoons. This is preferred because when the cocoons open naturally at one end, to release the moth, the continuity of the fibre is lost. However, in the last decade, an Indian man from Hyderabad has been able to develop commercially viable Ahimsa or non-violent silk. Mulberry trees can be grown organically, however, and organic mulberry tree growing and silk production can be a preferred fabric in the context of sustainability. 3. thriving in national as well as International markets. Majority of the Hindu women who wear silk saris are vegetarians but might not be aware that the pure silk saree that they wear and proudly display in marriages and temples is the product of one of the most non-violent violent method of cloth production. The other types of silkworm that are used for this process are a subspecies of the ailanthus silkmoth and several types of tussah or Tasar moths: the Chinese tussah moth, the Indian Tasar moth, and the muga moth. He is very bullish about the growth of the vegan industry—it will provide him with a bigger base of customers. Therefore, ahimsa mulberry silk is a spun silk, not a filament silk; making it very different in texture and lustre from 'typical' silk. The conventional method of silk production involves killing of several silkworms to make silk clothes, which isn’t a very good idea. From a short-run economic standpoint, it is difficult to make the argument for peace silk as it requires 10 extra days in the process to let the larvae grow and the moths to hatch out of the cocoons. It allows the completion of the metamorphosis of the silkworm to its moth stage, whereas most silk harvesting requires the silkworms to be killed in their cocoon stage. The silk is believed to be the finest at this stage. No animals suffer or die for the silk to be produced, making it a favorable alternative to normal silk for those who do not believe in harming animals. "Ahimsa silk is not even expensive. Production of silk through sericulture is a tedious process and involves many stages. asked 1 day ago in Animals in Daily Life by Pahi (45.4k points) closed 1 day ago by Pahi. 2. [3], "Ahimsa (Peace) Silk – Why I Think it Doesn't Add Up", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ahimsa_silk&oldid=990513049, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 24 November 2020, at 22:20. After they have laid their eggs, female moths are crushed to death and their bodies are checked under a microscope for diseases. Best answer. About Us. The innovative entrepreneur has also been able to make jersey out of Ahimsa silk, which they now use to make T-shirts and lingerie. Sericulture is the cultivation of silkworms or the Bombyx mori moths, where they feed on mulberry leaves until they grow to three inches (ten thousand times their original size), and are then ready to be harvested. Non-violent lifestyle proponents have more recently found peace silk to be in keeping with their way of life. Ahimsa is the Sanskrit word for the doctrine of non violence and peace subscribed to by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, recently tagged to silk production, covering the old traditional methods and promoting a new way to produce silk whilst sparing the life of the silk worm.. One region famous for its Ahimsa Silk is Assam, located in northeast India. In the vast majority of cases, it's more complicated than it appears. No animals suffer or die for the silk to be produced, making it a favorable alternative to normal silk for those who do not believe in harming animals. The fully domesticated Bombyx mori moth, the dominant silkworm variety used for the finest silk textiles today is the same species used in silk production thousands of years ago. True ahimsa silk is the one that’s produced from wild moths. By contrast, cocoons that are unraveled as a single, continuous thread create the sleek, smooth texture of most silks. Why all eyes in the fashion industry are currently on khadi, Why organza Kanjeevaram saris need to be on your radar this summer. What is Ahimsa Silk? Mention the word silk and people automatically have mental associations of luxury and occasion wear, textiles with shimmery surfaces and a soft, rich hand feels. However, that means that the silkworm dies in the process. Researchers are working on finding other methods to extract silk from … The water footprint, carbon footprint, chemical footprint, and land footprint for silk is very small compared to other fibres . Ahimsa Silk Bamboo Silk Chanderi 100% Cotton Organic Cotton Dhaka Muslin Khadi Kota Doria Maheshwari Tussar Silk. This set him on a decade-long journey that ended in the production of Ahimsa silk; he created his first sample sarees in 1991 and then made Ahimsa silk a commercial product in 2001. Ahimsa silk has a soft texture and hand feel and is as durable as regular silk. What goes into the making of a pure gold zari sari? The cruelty-free yarn was first patented in India in 2006, and has now been used in designer collections showcased all over the world. 1. Wild silk moths are bred, rather than the domestic variety. In about 10-14 days each of the eggs hatches and produces a larva which is also known as a caterpillar. His company makes everything from clothing to baby linen to eye masks using this fabric. Another type of silk is Ahimsa silk, which is made from the cocoons of Bombyx mori moths after the moths chew their way out of their cocoons. Here, the production of silk and rearing of silkworms (also known as “sericulture”) plays an integral role in the culture and economy of Assam. Each cocoon is checked to make sure there are no moths inside. There’s a version of silk called ‘Peace Silk’ or Ahimsa Silk that allows silkworms to hatch out of their cocoons, but it is more time and cost intensive. Each one will lay from 200 to 500 eggs. At this later stage the cocoon yields one-sixth of the filament. Rajaiah says he started giving a serious thought to "Ahimsa" silk when in the 1990s. But there are silk saris that are produced without killing the silkworms – it is the Ahimsa Silk. Ahimsa mulberry is produced by allowing the moths to hatch the cocoons before harvesting. We then use the pierced cocoons to extract the required yarn, spin the silk fibre and make fabric out of it. Meanwhile, the government of India granted Rajaiah a patent and trade marks for Ahimsa silk in 2006, since he was the first man to create it. Since the cocoons are where the silk is, they wait for the moth to fly away and then start processing the empty cocoons to make the fabric. Kusuma Rajaiah, who hails from a weaver’s family, studied fibres and filaments at Indian institute of Handloom Technology for three years. EVEN THOUGH IT’S A NATURAL PRODUCT CONVENTIONAL SILK IS NOT CRUELTY FREE. Developed in the ancient the sericulture industry in India today boasts of the world’s second largest producer of silken fabric and fiber. He says that Mahatma Gandhi, a man of non-violence, was the inspiration behind his new approach. While it’s no secret that the production of silk kills the very organism that produces it, did you know that 30,000-50,000 silkworms are killed to make one six-yard sari? When the worms are fully grown they fly away. This is done so that the silk fibers do not break. This set him on a decade-long journey that ended in the production of Ahimsa silk; he created his first sample sarees in 1991 and then made Ahimsa silk a commercial product in 2001. Unfortunately, the only way to keep the cocoon intact is to boil (soften) it with the silkworm moth still inside. “This is going to increase to eight million people a year by 2050, according to a BBC survey. The main qualities of ahimsa silk are derived from the ideals surrounding the concept of violence. Eri silk is made from the cocoons of these particular insects and is also produced using less violent methods than the normal heat treating, but the quality of Eri silk is often seen as inferior to that of the silk created by the offspring of the Bombyx mori moth.[2]. With the production of traditional silk, the silkworm is boiled alive but with Peace Silk® the top of the cocoon is gently cut open to allow the developing moth to escape and to finish its natural lifecycle outside of the cocoon. And so the legend goes that the young royal invented the reel and loom and began to teach the ladies of her court how t… In 1992, Kusuma Rajaiah, a Government officer from Andhra Pradesh state of India proposed ahimsa way of silk production for the making silks without killing the silkworm. Earlier this year, UK label, Mother of Pearl, also released a capsule, peace silk collection sold exclusively on Net-A-Porter. 2 views. The traditional process of silk production involves boiling the intact cocoons of silkworms and unwinding the silk strand. Several creatures secrete a form of silk, but their secretions are far inferior to those of the silkworm, which is the larval stage of the silkmoth. Who invented the Ahimsa silk? SILK IS MADE FROM CATERPILLAR COCOONS. Silk travelled to the Indian subcontinent via the silk route traders and became a favourite with emperors and aristocracy, who encouraged the industry within India itself. (“Ahimsa” is a Sanskrit word that means “do no harm”.) In the silk industry, cocoons are killed by steaming or dropping them into boiling water when they are ten days old, before they metamorphose into a moth. Many vegetarians and even some vegans have decided that it allows them a way to use silk without sacrificing animal life. TO SOURCE CONVENTIONAL SILK, THE COCOONS ARE BOILED WHICH MAKES THE SILKWORMS DIE HARASSINGLY. Archana Kochhar took the vegan textile to the runways of New York with her spring/summer 2016 collection. Kusuma Rajaiah, the founder of Ahimsa Silk. Rajaiah is a firm believer in Mahatma Gandhi and the principles of non-violence. [1], The subspecies of the ailanthus silkmoth, Samia cynthia ricini, eat the leaves of the castor bean or cassava leaves. Silk is produced year-round in Thailand by two types of silkworms, the cultured Bombycidae and wild Saturniidae. Another way to produce silk is the ahimsa method, used by Jains. “Instead, we allow the silk moths to pierce their cocoons naturally and … 1 Answer +1 vote . This allows the silk to be manufactured without harm to the beings that created it. The process of silk production is known as sericulture. This is how we are spreading the concept of Ahimsa to the world,” he explains. As they grow, the caterpillars secrete liquid protein to construct their cocoons, which is eventually extracted as raw silk. “Brides are in no mood to compromise on their wedding ensemble”: Falguni and Shane Peacock on their latest couture offering. Silk production has a large carbon and water cost, largely due to the high levels of fertilizer and water that are required per unit of fibre produced when compared to certain other natural or semi-natural fibres (14). Ahimsa silk. Many attempts have been made to produce a synthetic alternative, but the results have been poor and the quality much different to the natural material. Wild silk moths are bred, rather than the domestic variety. ← Prev Question Next Question → 0 votes . 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