Silk is a Developed Market

Silk signifies luxury; it has always been associated with crowned heads and riches throughout the different ages. Silk has an excellent idiosyncratic, beauty and elegance because of which it is considered as the queen of fabrics compared with other man-made natural fibers in the textile industry. It is the strongest and lightest natural fiber and it has great elasticity, resilience and warmth.

Silk is extruded by a domesticated silkworm known as Bombyx mori, which feeds solely on mulberry leaves. The traditional process of silk production requires the killing of hundreds of thousands of silk moths. The larvae are boiled alive, more info please visit:- roasted or centrifuged. The female moths are slit open to check for diseases after they have laid the eggs for the next generation. Most consumers are not aware of the cruelty involved in the process of production. However, silk can also be made in a non-violent, eco-friendly and sustainable way.

Unlike the conventional method where the pupae are killed before reeling yarn from the cocoons, the adult moths are allowed to emerge alive from the cocoons and then the silk yarn is spun from the open ended or pierced cocoons found in the wild or from those used in breeding cycles. Silkworm rearing, both mulberry and non-mulberry, is a highly labor intensive cottage industry. Mulberry cultivation is indispensable to domesticated silkworm (Bombyx mori) rearing. Mulberry is a multiple tree. It produces a fine wood, branches can be used in basketry, and fruits are edible and can be used to make wine. Its leaves are fed to silkworm, besides being a good fodder for livestock.

Non-mulberry or wild silkworms include eri, tassar and muga. Eri silkworms are reared on castor oil plant leaves to produce a brick-red silk, popularly known as eri silk. Tasar silkworms feed on oak, Terminalia and several other host plants and produce tasar silk. Muga silkworms are found only in the state of Assam and feed on ‘som’ etube and ‘soalu’ producing an unusual lustrous golden-yellow, attractive and strong silk.

World’s total production of raw silk was 56,500 tons in 1938 which has gone up by 36% during the last 53 years. By 2000 the total raw silk production was estimated at 85,000. Although production has been rising gradually, the share of silk in total for all textile fibers remains very low. The value of silk and silk products in international trade however is quite significant, silk being a high value item.

With the changing production pattern over time, China has emerged as world’s largest producer and exporter of raw silk, accounting for 90% share of global exports. Principal destinations of Chinese raw silk during 1990 were the Western Europe (Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the UK), Japan, Hong Kong, India and the former USSR Infact; it was China that was the birth place of the production of raw silk and silk weaving. The fiber produced was so treasured that it became a measure of currency and reward. The imperial courts in China even established factories to weave silk fabrics for ceremonial use and for gifts to foreign powers. In 2005, China produced 69,000 metric tons of raw silk.

India stands second only to China in silk production 16,000 metric tons.
But, India has the unique distinction of being the only country in the world producing all the commercially known varieties of silk – mulberry, tassar (both tropical and temperate), eri, and muga. It ranks second to China as a mulberry silk producer and accounts for about 14% of world production of raw silk. It is also the second largest producer of tassar silk, again after China. It has the monopoly of world production of golden-yellow muga silk. India requires 120,000 metric tons of silk to meet the demand in world market and with better infrastructure facility; the sericulture industry can improve its productivity to 15 percent as against the current 9%.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.