Ahimsa silk, the alternative silk fabric invented by Mr. Kusuma Rajaiah, has finally found a niche market in the US and some parts of Europe.
Ahimsa, which means non-violence in Sanskrit, is the main motivation behind the invention of this alternative silk material and no act of killing or cruelty is involved in making of this non-violent, eco-friendly fabric.
Mr. Kusuma Rajaiah, the founder and owner of Ahimsa Silks, shared some details with Fibre2fashion on this special fabric. The Hyderabad-based technocrat in handloom technology says, “Ahimsa silk possesses very bright properties and can be worn in any season.”
“This smooth material allows sweat absorption and air permeability and also has a good fall. This fabric can be used in making various items like sarees, stoles and dress materials,” he reveals.
While comparing his fabric with the traditionally woven silk material, he states, “Conventional silk is brighter and more lustrous as compared to Ahimsa silk. It is also firmer and stiffer. Besides, Ahimsa silk is around 1.5 times costlier than the conventional silk fabric.”
Talking about the main inspiration and reason behind his invention, he tells, “When Mrs. Janaki Venkataraman, wife of former Indian President Mr. R Venkataraman, visited an APCO store in Hyderabad in 1990, she evinced her interest in buying an exclusive silk item, which was made without the killing of silkworms.”
“When I got to know about this episode I started an experiment to make such a silk and I got successful results. Then, after a series of experiments and some research I could prepare the Ahimsa silk. I applied for the patent in 2002 and got it in 2006,” he informs.
Describing about the techniques of getting silk yarn from cocoons without killing the worms, he says, “We save or preserve the cocoon for about two weeks and when it matures naturally, the cocoon breaks and the moth comes out. After that we use this broken cocoon for the extraction of silk.”
When quizzed about the growing demand for the silk alternative cloth, he says, “The Ahimsa silk enjoys a niche market and is on a growing stage. Currently it is more popular in South India. The fabric is also being exported to some parts of Europe, US and other countries. The demand for this silk is growing in the international markets and has a good growth potential because of its properties.”