“Ahimsa is the highest duty. Even if we can not practice it in full, we must try to understand its spirits and retain as far as is humanly possible from violence.” - (Mahatma Gandhi)
What is Peace Silk or Ahimsa Silk?
Ahimsa Silk, also known as Peace silk or cruelty-free silk, is produced without causing any harm to the silkworm throughout its lifecycle till it converts into a moth and then repeats the life cycle. The manufacturing of peace silk is inspired by Gandhiji’s philosophy of Ahimsa (meaning non-violence in English). The peace silk producers allow the worms to become fully mature and hatch out of the cocoons. When the silk moth emerges out of the cocoon it pierces the cocoon, breaking the continuous filament of silk. Usually, a single cocoon can produce anywhere between six hundred to a thousand meters of silk thread. But in the peace silk process, as the silkworm turns to moth and breaks the continuous silk thread, the silk yield is reduced by nearly eighty percent.
How is Peace Silk made?
Image: From silk worm eggs to Silk Fabric. Life cycle of Peace Silk Fabric.
Peace silk production is cruelty-free and non-violent. This process allows the silkworm to complete its life cycles until it becomes a moth. The moth-pierced cocoons are first sent for degumming to remove the resin from the silk fibers. After degumming, the cocoons are combed and processed in a spinning factory to remove impurities and produce fine silk yarns. The spinning of yarn and later weaving into fabric can be done with hands as well as with machines. But the texture is different in handwoven silk compared to machine-woven silk. This technique of getting silk yarns from cocoons without killing the silkworms was invented by Kusum Rajahi in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in 1991.
The silkworms breed under natural conditions during the making of peace silk. After mating, a female moth lays about 500-600 eggs in five to six days. As the baby silkworms emerge out of the eggs they begin to feed on fresh leaves (mostly mulberry leaves). Since the food of these silkworms is the mulberry leaf, the silk they produce is called mulberry silk. The trees where the silkworms grow are not treated with insecticide or fungicide. The entire tree is covered with a fine net, to protect the caterpillars and leaves from other insects or birds. Organic cultivation has a positive impact on the size of the cocoon and the quality of silk thread.
Why is Peace Silk expensive?
Since the moths are allowed to age to maturity, the production pace of peace silk becomes slightly slower and expensive than regular silk.
Types of Peace Silk
Just like the regular silk varieties, depending on the type of silkworm, peace silk can be of different varieties. The pre-dominant peace silk varieties are mulberry silk, tussar silk, eri silk, or muga silk.
How is Peace Silk used?
The commercial use of peace silk began in the year 2001. Many outfits such as sarees, scarves, dresses, and salwar kameez are made with it. The look and feel of peace silk are different from regular silk. Its smooth, soft, warm and has temperature regulating properties. Peace silk is a hypoallergenic and crease-resistant textile. It is eco-friendly and safe to use.
Why is Peace Silk special? And what are the benefits of Peace Silk?
Peace silk products maintain the PH level of the skin. They absorb less moisture from your skin than cotton and other fabrics.
Pillow covers made from Peace silk prevent sleep lines and wrinkles due to reduced friction between silk and skin. They reduce frizzy hair, making the hair smoother after a night’s sleep.
Organic Peace silk products are eco-friendly. They are compostable and biodegradable.
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