Eri silk, is simply beautiful not only because of its unique texture, but also because of its peaceful nature of extraction. It is commonly known as peace silk because it is produced without killing the silk worm. Traditionally, silk worms are killed during extraction. They build enclosed cocoons that are boiled with the worm inside to maintain one continuous filament, which results in a smooth and shiny fabric. On the other hand, Eri silk worm is particularly fascinating as it weaves an open ended cocoon, allowing the worm to transform into a moth and fly off. After which the empty Eri silk cocoons are processed to extract silk.
Eri silk is largely produced in Assam, a state in North-eastern India. The production process of Eri silk is a slow one as the silkworm takes around 40 to 45 days to make a cocoon. The caterpillar feeds on castor leaves and grows for about 30 days. And when they are fully grown they will find a cozy spot to settle down and pupate to spin short segments of a filament and build cocoons. After a few days, when the moth leaves the cocoons, they are degummed by boiling in water,made into small cakes resembling cotton pads and then thrown against the mud houses for drying. Once the cakes are dry,they are used for spinning the silk yarn.
Apart from the fact that Eri silk is ethically made, what makes it environmentally sustainable? Eri silk, like no other silk, is durable as the fibres are dense and strong. It’s also a low-maintenance fabric as it washable and wrinkle-free.
It has the elegance of silk, the comfort of cotton, and the warmth of wool. The more it is worn, the softer it gets, and it is agreat textile to be worn year-round. Eri silk, especially when woven with hand spun yarn, is profoundly beautiful – with a rich texture and humble sheen.