A Story About the Silk - Journey from Cocoon to Ethical Silk of the World
There is a large variety of silk in Assam but the most impressive one to us is the eri silk, also known as peaceful silk or "the poor man's silk" within Assam. It has textured surface with delicate yet long-lasting feel. Eri silk also has very beautiful shades, cream or slightly reddish, which are determined by the food the worms eat.
Silk production usually means inevitably killing silkworms. However, the cocoon of the eri silk is open-mouthed. This means that the cocoon can only be processed when the moth leaves. The empty cocoon is first cooked in boiling water. Through tapping them in cold water, they then become small cakes that resemble cotton pads. After being tapped a few times, they are thrown against the mud walls of the typical Assamese houses to dry for a few hours. Once the cakes are dried, the spinning can begin.
There are many spinning techniques that are used in cultures around the world. But spindle remains the one indispensable tool. In Assam, the traditional technique uses the drop down spindle with a weight. This tool can also be used for mobile spinning, a technique where the spinner walks and moves around freely while spinning the yarn. This is an incredible sight to see. The weights range from turtle shells, a rather ancient weight, to round pieces of broken "chapal" (flip flops in Hindi), which is a great way to reusing and recycling. Even though spinning with a machine is far more efficient, hand spinning and hand weaving remain an integral source of income to the artisan communities of Assam.https://www.moowon.com/stories/eri-silk-in-assam-yesterday-in-tomorrow
Created with images by Jazmin Quaynor - "Pink fabric" • Peyman Farmani - "untitled image"