India produces five commercial varieties of Silk viz-Mulberry silk, Tropical Tasar silk, Temperate Tasar Silk (Oak silk), Muga silk and Eri silk. Eri silk is a staple fibre while other types are continuous filament. Report says that the use of Silk and silk based fabrics, garments, Home furnishings are rising globally. One of the ways of increasing value addition is through Diversified product development from the traditional Indian silk yarns. The Export of Indian silk have increased from a little over One million US dollars in 1950 to about 713 million US dollars in 2005-06.( source- Indian Silk).The SILK MARK scheme, recently introduced by Central Silk Board as a purity assurance measure, an internationally accepted mark of quality like the “WOOL MARK” will be like catalyst for exports.

Dr.Hiromu Akai, president of International Society for wild silk moths has reported in Indian Silk-Jan-Feb 2006, that the wild silk have special health related characteristics. Eri and Antherea pernyi have anti-bacterial functions. Kimonos are produced in Japan from tasar Silk and are patented. An exclusive unique product from wild silk will have demand especially in western market.

Mulberry, Tasar and Muga silks are available in Continuous filament yarn form and Spun yarn forms. Eri silk unlike any other varieties of silk is available as cut staple fibre as the Eri cocoons are open mouthed and not suitable for reeling in continuous form. There are two varieties of Eri cocoons- white cocoons and Brick red cocoon. Tropical tasar cocoons are available in different eco races with different colours which are natural and fast.

Main varieties of tasar silk goods exported are dress materials, sarees, ready made garments, carpets followed by sarees.Tasar silk fabrics are mostly used as gents wear in our country. The other outlets are in the form of thicker varieties of fabrics like dress material and furnishing fabrics are made from tasar ghicha, tasar-ghicha-noil and tasar katia yarn mostly catering to the export markets.

Tasar producing centres:

1. Jarkhand/Bihar : Bhagalpur,Bhagiayya, Katoria, Puraini, Chaibasa
2. Orissa : Gopalapur, Fakirpur,Naupatna.
3. West Bengal : Tantipada,Raghunathpur,Bishnupur.
4. Chhatisgarh/M.P. : Champa, Seoni,Chhuri,Raigarh.
5. Maharastra : Bhandara,Andelgaon.
6. Andhra Pradesh : Kosigi, Hakimpet, Pothureddipalli
7. U.P. : Varanasi,Dudhi.


Tasar Reeled. X tasar reeled, Tasar Reeled XMulberry reeled,Tasar Reeled. X Ghicha

Tasar Reeled X Katia, Tasar Reeled X Balkal (from cocoon Peduncle ),Tasar Reeled. X Cotton

Malmal is a type of fine fabric which is utilized for summer wear in our country, mostly in the form of sarees in the following combination.-Tasar reeled x tasar Reeled.


In Indian sub-continent saree is a vary popular dress wear among ladies which is produced in the following combinations.

Tasar reeled x tasarReeled (With plain boarded),Tasar reeled x tasarReeled (With tie and dye disigne),Tasar reeled x tasarReeled (With stripes and checks),Tasar reeled x tasarReeled (With Prints),Tasar reeled x tasarReeled (Jacquard design)


Chadar or Wrapper fabric for covering in all the seasons:

Tasar Reeled x Tasar Reeled (With plain, twill & diamond weaves), Katia x Katia (Plain & Twill), Tasar reeled x katia, Jhuri x Jhuri (Heavy weight)

Export varieties/Furnishings :

In India following combinations are woven for manufacturing heavy fabrics for furnishings to be exported.

Reeled tasar x Noil or spun silk yarn, Reeled Tasar x Ghicha. Reeled tasar x Ghicha + Noil, Cotton x Ghicha & Noil, Spun Silk x Ghicha & Noil., Jhuri x Jhuri ,Cotton x Jhuri (Double cloth)

Spun Silk Yarn-120/2 and 60/2nm 140/2nm and 210/2nm undyed or dyed

Silk Noil Yarns,Bleached Tussah Silk Noil Yarns

Spun silk-Modal yarn-,Spun silk-dyed fabric –is made from different coloured yarns, creating a variety of coloured patterns.,Douppion -Douppioni is a plain-weave fabric with slubbed ribs. It has a stiff, taffeta-like hand and is usually dyed in bright colors.

Noil -Silk noil is made from the short fibers left after combing and carding so it doesn't shine like many other silk fabrics. Noil looks similar to cotton, but has the soft feel of silk against the skin. It also drapes better than cotton and resists wrinkling,

Raw Silk -Raw silk is any silk yarn or fabric that hasn't had the sericin -- the natural "gum" that protects the fiber

Silk, with its shimmer and lustre -- no other fabric can match
the qualities of this rich fabric

About the Author:

Dr. M. Sivakumar is an expert on Post Cocoon Technology. He is a visiting Professor in the Department of Apparel Technology & Management, Bangalore University. He can be contacted at or

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