11 December, 2017

Why Ghicha is AHIMSA silk?

First of all, definitions of the following types of Silk.

1. Mulberry Silk

Silk produced by silkworm (Bombyx Mori) fed on Mulberry Leaves.

2. Tussar Silk

Larvae of several species of moth such as Antheraea mylitta, Antheraca proylei, Antherea pernyi and Antheraca yamamai produce this silk.The insects mostly live in the wild on bushes and trees on which they feed.

3. Katiya Silk

The portion of Tussar cocoons leftover after about 60% reelable silk is spun into Katiya yarn.

4. Balkal Silk

The peduncles (silk that anchors the cocoon, it is very weak) are utilized for production of Balkal yarn.

5. Muga Silk:

It belongs to the same family as Tussar. It is popular for its natural golden colour, glossy fine textures and durability. Muga silk is produced by Antheraea assama westwood which is an endemic species prevalent in the Brahmaputra valley and adjoining hills.

Muga silkworm is a polyhageous insect which feeds on leaves of Som, Soalu and other plants which grows abundantly in Brahmaputra valley.

Eri Silk :

The word Eri is a derivative from Sanskrit nomenclature for Castor Plant, eranada. Castor leaf is the main food for the Eri silkworms and so named as Eri. This is the only completely domesticated non-mulberry variety. Its silk is spun as it cannot be reeled.

Spun Silk:

A Silk yarn made of short lengths of silk obtained from silk wastes, pierced cocoons or floss which gives yarn its characteristic brilliance. There are two grades of yarn Schappe and Bourette. It is spun on special machinery which in some ways is akin to cotton.

Noil Silk:

Noil Short fibres removed in combing operation of yarn making of Spun silk is spun into Noil yarn. Noil is mostly produced in Karnataka and Madras.

Dupion Silk:

An irregular, rough silk reeled from double cocoons or cocoons spun side-by-side which are interlocked, making it necessary to reel them together. The unevenness of the yarn confines its use.

Filature Silk

A raw silk which is reeled by machine as distinct from silk prepared by hand in cottage industry.

Matka silk

Matka Silk is obtained from waste Mulberry silk by hand spinning without removing the gum (sericin). Cocoons required to produce Matka are mainly obtained from Karnataka and Kashmir but spinning is mostly done in the villages of Malda and Murshidabad districts in West Bengal by women by hand spinning.

Filaments of the cocoons of this silk from Bihar were originally unwound and  plied together on a mud pot, or Matka ( Today, they are likely to be reeled on a woman's thigh)


Though not a silk fabric yet very important from the point of view of traditional textiles. It is a veg based fabric. A satin weave with rayon warp and cotton weft creates a high glossy surface.


Gajji Silk is satin weave done on silk fabric. Used in Tie-Dye Sarees in Gujarat.

Some other Snippets

* All tussar is wild silk which is produced from an unraptured cocoon.

* Ghicha and Matka are produced from Raptured cocoon.

* Korea Silk is also known as 33/37 fibre. Generally, we have fabrics of Korea x korea , korea x china and korea x India. Korea x Korea can be made on a power loom. The other two qualities are not possible to make on power loom because of their marked evenness.

* When a supplier talks about 2x1 Korea x China, it means he has taken two threads of Korea together in the warp (not twisted, but just taken together).

* Generally reed in these fabrics is always 72

* China silk is also known as 50/70 fibre. It is paler and more coarse in appearance than Korea.   

Ghicha Silk also known as AHIMSA Tussar Silk Yarn. Tussar Silk is normally not considered ed as an organic silk, as because the Pupa inside the cocoons died while processing the cocoons. But Ghicha SIlk is the only kind of Tussar Silk, which spun directly from those Tussar Cocoons, in which the Pupa left cocoons before we process or Boil it. 
So, Ghicha Silk is one of an Organic Silk, highly in demand for weaving some nice scarves, stoles fabrics and of course, sarees.
Ghicha naturally has a Light Golden Brown Shade. Ghicha silk sarees are produced in east Indian states.The creativity of handloom weavers of East India is unshackled in the form of Ghicha silk sarees made from the revolutionary Ghicha silk that is actually the by-product of tussar silk. Produced in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar, the yarns of Ghicha silk are obtained from the cocoons of tussar silk that cannot have the silk yarns reeled naturally and hence these cocoons are ruptured and the silk is reeled manually. This is the reason why Ghicha silk yarns are short and the sarees made from them have uneven and slubby texture, giving them a raw sense of appeal. Characterized by the same moisture and air permeability properties as cotton but with a lustrous sheen of silk, these sarees are comfortable to wear and easy to maintain. Showcasing rich flora and fauna and narrating modest tribal lives onto their weave and kindling them with vibrant and spirited colours, trust ghicha sarees to bring in rustic charm to a woman’s wardrobe when added to their collection.

Desi is a raptured silk from India. Very uneven yet brilliant when worn.Tussar Silk Sarees, also known as ‘Kosa’ Silk Sarees, are made from silk obtained from several species of caterpillars, of the moth genus Antheraea. Known as ‘wild silk’, a name given because the silkworms breed on trees like Sal and Arjun found in the forests of Jharkhand. The raw silk has a deep golden colour and is of good texture. Tussar Silk staples are shorter and less expensive in comparison to that of cultivated silk because of the resulting quality of the produce from these silkworms in comparison to that from cultivated types. Tussar Silk is mainly found in India, in the states of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Bhagalpur in Bihar, which is also famous as a commercial centre for the production of Tussar Silk sarees. Eastern parts of India like Orissa and West Bengal and a small portion of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh also contribute to Tussar Silk production in India. Tribals in Jharkhand, for whom sericulture accounts as a major source of livelihood, and weavers of Bhagalpur, are skilled weavers of hand-woven Tussar Silk Sarees. Handspun and coloured with vegetable dyes, the Tussar sarees they produce are eco-friendly. The sari is the most important Tussar silk product. 
Ghicha Silk – It is also a type of silk yarn that is produced from pierced, cut, flimsy, insect damaged and double cocoons. It is a distinctly soft variety of fabric. Tussar silk sarees are highly popular among Indian women due to their smooth texture and breathable material. The porous make of these sarees keep them cooler than other types of silk sarees and can be worn during summers as well. These sarees are characterised by their shine which gives them a regal finish. The traditional tussar saree is a versatile outfit and can be worn for any occasion.

There is no dearth of options when it comes to colours and prints in ghicha sarees. Flowers, leafs, trees, buds are the main source of inspiration for the prints. The motifs are large and vibrant, while the colours are bright and pleasant. When you have to choose one saree that can instantly give you an elegant look, pick a ghicha silk saree. It is made from pure silk fibre.

I have worn the same saree here earlier with a different blouse.

10 December, 2017

Dakshin Dwar- Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar

Café on 3 is on the 3rd floor of hotel Holiday Inn in Mayur Vihar. These days they have special South Indian food promotion. Dakshin restaurant is not just associated with ITC. In fact, it started 28 years back in Chennai park Sheraton which is now Crowne Plaza. Head chef, Prabhakaran has been called from there for this food festival Dakshin Dwar. Chef Prabhakaran, the head chef of the iconic Dakshin in Chennai, would like to invite you to a specially curated South Indian culinary journey at Cafe on 3, Holiday Inn Mayur Vihar Noida.Dakshin Dwar opens at Café on 3, after glorifying the culinary traditions of the six South Indian states for 25 years in the heart of Chennai. The best of the legendary flavours from the restaurant will be showcased at the Holiday Inn Mayur Vihar.

The cuisine and concept of this food promotion are All South Indian states. Being a cafe, in the buffet, there is also regular stuff from North India but it is majorly South Indian states- 6 different cuisines. Kerala, Telangana, Andhra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and even Pondicherry. There are Chettinad specials also. There are 2 live counters- Dosa and Appam. Seeing someone do it is special.
We started with banana dosa with 4 different signature chutneys-Pineapple, tamarind beetroot and spicy tomato. So there is fruit, vegetable and tamarind. The First thing served is the heaviest food to drowse hunger with heavy food. It is like offering to God. Then soup is served. Starters are served at the table and then you take the buffet. Different spices- including Chettinad spices were used- 18 spices
different red chillies- byadaga chilli from Karnataka. Some food was prepared in gingelly oil which is very healthy sesame seed oil. Deserts were made of jaggery instead of sugar. Other oils used were peanut oil, coconut oil, etc. Pondicherry food is less spicy- lobsters in malai curry. Mix vegetable curry without spice and no chilli. They are mostly grilled.It was nice to get intricacies of food. Other things we tasted and tried was

Fish Fries.
Varappu vada- banana flour. Chana dal vada
veg and non-veg. kothu paratha.

Normally would not have this much variety of South Indian cuisine. So this food festival is something you must try.
Each variety made with different masalas and had different flavours. The flavours were of pepper, ginger, coconut, etc. It was a balanced meal.

Meen pollichathu 
Vazhapoo vada
Lady fish fry

Murungai rasam
Kodi Uluvacharu

Appam with pachakari stew stew
Appam with kozhi stew
Kothu paratha with veg
Kothu paratha non veg salna
KariveppilIai poondu kuzhambu
Motchai masala
Tomato pappu

Vennai mamsam
Kori rasa
Lamb kheema choru
Thanjavour meen kuzhambu

In desserts were tried:
Lychee payasam
Ada pradhaman
Badam halwa

Each dish was finger licking good. I would highly recommend you to try this food festival. It is on only until 17 December. So rush. Do not miss it.

09 December, 2017

Saree- the best gift ever

My dad used to travel a lot for his business trips. Every time, he went, he came back with sarees for my mom. Not one for sure. The minimum number he brought was four. They used to be gorgeous, drool-worthy sarees. After I got married, this must have been his first trip post my wedding. He was returning home and on the way had little time to meet me in Delhi. As always, he had brought about five sarees. He kept them in front of me and said, you choose. I said, "no they are for mom". He said, "at least choose one." I picked up the simplest of them all. Ganga Jamuna pure silk saree. The body was gorgeous cream colour and it had green and black borders. It could be worn both sides. I was fascinated with the concept. 
After few years, I was not wearing sarees so regularly and started giving them to mom. I gave this to her too. Few years went by and I asked her to give it back to me. When the saree came to me, the cream body had brown stains on it. My heart was broken. I would not have discarded my dad's gift that easily. I wanted to rescue it. So I went to my local dyer and asked him to colour the white body copper brown to cover up the brown stains. Voilà! and here it is again. 25 years old saree. My dad's gift to me that changed hands many times and came back to me. It was on the verge of extinction but was rescued and saved. Today I am proudly wearing it and thanking dad for getting me this beauty.
Oh, silk saree! your beauty is timeless. When you gift a traditional saree to someone, it is the best gift ever. It is like giving a piece of your heart. Every warp and weft is soaked in love. It is as precious as jewellery. 

08 December, 2017

Unleashing the saree

Saree has something about it that transports you to a state of mind that is happy, peaceful, contented, feeling pure and yogic in nature. It connects you back to your roots. You can never go wrong with simple classic sarees. Less is more. This sartorial heritage is straight from the looms. Remember the invaders came to India, for our treasures- silks. Today we have given up on our classic heirlooms for lycra and polyester. People value brands, denim, etc. Sarees are wrapped and packed and tucked away. It is time to dig them out, breathe life into them, listen to their stories, move your fingers gently on its folds, rub them to your cheeks and of course, wear them proudly.

This saree came out after 5 years (ashamed of myself. But I am going to rectify this from now onwards). See the last time I wore it here. Today the accessories and the blouse was different.