Eri Silk also known by the names Errandi or Endi is mostly found in the North East of India. Eri is an Assamese which literally means castor. Eri silk is produced from the silkworm named Samia Cynthia Ricini that feeds mainly on castor leaves. The Eri cocoons are spun and are open-mouthed cocoons. The process of silk production from the silkworms doesn’t involve any type of killing of the silkworms and hence, Eri Silk is the only domesticated silk product in India, unlike other types of silk. Eri Silk is also widely known as the father of all other forms of textured and cultured silks and is even named as Ahimsa silk i.e. fabric of peace.
This fabric is considered to be the poor man’s silk and is directly attached to the Assamese society and dresses. Along with Assam, Eri silk is also found in Orissa, Bihar, some part of China, Thailand and Japan.
Origin and History of Eri Silk
The Eri silkworms or caterpillars are found in Thailand, China, Japan and in Assam, Manipur, Bihar, Meghalaya, Orissa and Arunachal Pradesh states of India. Heavy rain and humid climate arfavorableurable conditions for the eri culture. The silk moths are mostly found over the wild trees and shrubs.
Eri Silk are the most textured Silk and it needs a large amount of care and preservation. The silk has shorter fibers which makes it less durable than the normal cultured Silks. The Eri Silk is in dull yellow colour with golden shine and is one of the purest and softest form of silk.
Few Qualities of This Fabric That makes Best:
- Almost all Eri Silk gets produced in north east part of India and all the communities working on Eri Silk are mostly native tribal communities. Eri Silk Production is their main source of income and they get benefit of this valuable material.
- Eri silk requires no additional resources for the silk production from caterpillars unlike other items like cotton. Once the worm becomes a moth, silk fiber produced from them is of no use. So, for the Eri silk production, no additional resources are required.
- Eri Silk does not require large investment. The Eri caterpillars are feed on castor leaves which even grew in drought-prone regions or alongside other crops. So, this provides an alternative source of income for farmers.
- It is vegan silk as it does not involve killing of worms for the production of silk. Unlike other types of silks, the moth is allocated to leave the cocoon before the silk is extracted and the cocoon can complete the metamorphosing process into a moth, hat, h and breed.
- Eri is very cheap and is often known as Poor man’s silk and is connected too much to the Assamese.
- The Silk has replaced woollen threads in Assam since it is very warm.
- It is even used in home furnishing products.
- Due to its durability, this Silk is a keeper for a lifetime and is ideal for any season.
- This fabric looks elegant and sophisticated and so, Sarees or dresses made of Eri Silk are perfect for a festive and party seasons.
- This fabric very warm and add comfort to the clothes. Because of this quality, it is mostly used in winter shawls, blankets, jackets for men and women, stoles, etc.
- Because of its soft texture, Eri Silk is also used in making baby dresses
- It is durable as well as strong in nature. So now days, it is also used by many designers in home furnishing products like quilts, curtains, cushion covers, bed covers, and wall hangings.
- The silk is used mainly for the preparation of chaddars for own use by tribal people in Assam.
Before sometime, Eri was only popular among the backward tribes of Assam, but now days its popularity has crossed the sea and is appreciated everywhere in the world.
Photo by Fair Trade Designs