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 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.

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