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Silk that breathes life into the worm

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LIVING SILKS: Visitors at the exhibition on ‘Weaving Lives - Ahimsa Silk’ at the German Culture Center on Monday.
LIVING SILKS: Visitors at the exhibition on ‘Weaving Lives - Ahimsa Silk’ at the German Culture Center on Monday.

Staff Reporter

The process does away with the boiling stage of silk worms

Process allows worms break out of their cocoons

Breaking of cocoon wastes almost 80 p.c. yarn

HYDERABAD: Nourished solely by Mulberry leaves, grown to 10,000 times its original size and then imprisoned in the cocoon for the best part of its existence, Bombyx Mori aka Mulberry Silk Worm endures much in return for an adult life of two to seven days, that too robbed of the ability to fly by centuries of domestication. However, its zest for life gets throttled when it is prematurely flung into a cauldron of boiling water. The birth of a single silk sari summons 3000 such deaths.

The life-cycle of a silk moth with all its pathos was vividly pictured in a documentary “Weaving Lives: Ahimsa Silk” screened on Monday at Goethe Zentrum, the Association for German Culture. The screening was part of an exhibition of Ahimsa Silk organised by the Association.

A mode of silk yarn production without harming the worms, Ahimsa Silk was conceptualised seven years ago by Kusuma Rajaiah, a Technical Officer employed with APCO. The process did away with the boiling stage thus allowing the worms break out of their cocoons and live a full life.

The breaking of the cocoon will waste away almost 80 per cent of the yarn, though the rest could be spun into elegant saris and dhotis, says Rajaiah. The spun silk or Ahimsa Silk, however, will cost much more than the Filament Silk.

The visual documentation of the Ahimsa Silk was begun with the intention to understand the processes of weaving and the concerns of weavers , said the Director of Goethe Zentrum Amita Desai who conceptualised the documentation project. The exhibition has displays from Peddapuram, Nalgonda, Dharmavaram and Karimnagar.

Inaugurated by the Deputy Consul General of Germany Erwin Wendland, it will be on till October 14 at Goethe Zentrum office in Nampally.


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