At Brit Wacher we have been very thankful to come across Kusuma Rajaiah's silk development process that we are now proud and happy to be utilizing. Dr. Rajaiah's process is both inspiring and logical in the pursuit of nurturing our holistic fashion company.
Dr. Kusuma Rajaiah, basically a Technocraft in Handloom Technology and having 40 years practical experience in this industry is aware of all these facts and struggled for several years to create an alternative silk fabric where there is no killing, no cruelty and at the same time the fabric value is totally protected. That struggle paved the way to invent Ahimsa Silk.
Dr. Kusuma Rajaiah conducted research in the field and invented the technique of getting silk yarn from cocoons without killing the silk worms, for the first time in the World in the year 1991. After prolonged research the Ahimsa silk is made marketable in the year 2001.
In our production process child and forced labor are not engaged and there is no discrimination on the basis of sex.
The Hindi word “ahimsa” means Non-violence. It is used to describe this innovation because the fabric is manufactured in a process where silkworms are not killed. For this reason, the product is also known as peace silk. Ahimsa silk is extracted after the silkworm has completed metamorphosis and emerged from the cocoon. Considering the increased awareness of animal protectionism around the world.
Kusuma Rajaiah, a senior technical assistant with a government organization in India, is tasked with the responsibility of developing ahimsa silk into a viable commercial product.
There are many types of silkworms, but Bombyx mori is mainly used for commercial cultivation. The silkworms are placed in bamboo baskets and fed mulberry leaves. As they consume the leaves, the insects exude viscous fluids through head glands. These substances are fibroin (raw silk) and sericin (bonding gum). The substances harden upon contact with air, forming the basic silk filament, which is a combination of two fibers held together by the gum. The silkworm oozes out the fibroin continuously for about 1,000 yards, forming an oval nest or cocoon. But as the worm is still alive inside the cocoon, this poses a problem for devotees who respect all living things big and small.
In the production of regular silk, the cocoons are immersed in boiling water to kill the worms and spool the silk yarn. With ahimsa silk, however, cocoons are left alone for seven to 10 days. Once the worms mature, they are allowed to pierce the cocoons and fly away as moths. Only then does the manufacture of peace silk begin. Each cocoon is checked individually to ensure that the moth has escaped before the silk thread is spun.
Spinning takes around two months and weaving another month. In other words, shipments can be ready three months after the moths escape. We can produce up to 2,000 meters per month. Ahimsa silk is promoted as having the popular properties of regular silk. Even though it is slightly less lustrous, it is even softer to the touch. Currently, it remains a niche product due to its higher price range. While normal silk fabric of the 8gsm vary is price with that ahimsa of the same quality. “People are becoming more environmentally aware and compassionate to animals. “Though ahimsa silk may not replace regular silk, we are confident it will be adopted by those who are concerned about animals,”.