Unknown Summer Fabric – Muga Silk

The moment you think of cool and comfortable fabrics for summer, you do not think of silk. But that’s all the more reason to choose this luxurious and perhaps unexpected fabric. An all weather fabric silk is warm and cozy in winter and comfortably cool in summers.

Many different types of silk are produced which can broadly be divided into cultivated silks and wild silks.

India produces four varieties of natural silks namely Mulberry silk, Tasar silk, Muga silk and Eri silk. The Tasar, Eri and Muga silk are non mulberry silks which are wild silks and are also known as Vanya Silks. Out of these varieties of wild silk Muga is better known and has gained popularity over the years. Muga silk is known for its natural shimmering golden colour. It’s produced in Assam, border areas of neighbouring states and cooch Bihar in West Bengal. The word ‘Muga’ means yellowish in Assamese. Muga silk has been given the Geographical Indication (GI) status since 2007 and the logo for authentic production has been registered with Assam Science Technology and Environment Council.

Muga silk was unknown to outside world until 1662, till French Explorer Mr. Jean Joseph Taverniere discovered Muga silk during an exploration to Assam region of India. It has the highest tensile strength amongst all other natural fibres and is very durable. Muga silk is used for making all kinds of produucts like sarees, suits, dupattas, hats, caps, scarfs, wraps and upholstery.

Muga silk has flexibility of blending. It is blended easily with pashmina, cotton and other types of mulberry and non-mulberry silk while weaving. In recent times Muga silk is being used for developing new products and designs. Use of Muga Yarn is also finding favour with weavers as a substitute for zari.

Muga has a global connect especially in US, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East. In Japan designers are using it to make kimonos and other traditional Japanese dresses.