Tussar silk (alternatively spelled as tussah, tushar, tassar, tussore, tasar, tussur, tusser and also known as (Sanskrit) kosa silk) is produced from larvae of several species of silkworms belonging to the moth genus Antheraea mylitta that thrives on the plants Asan and Arjun.,
Copperish in color, this coarse silk is valued for its rich texture and natural deep gold colour, and varieties are produced in many Asian countries,
India is the second largest producer of tussar silk and the exclusive producer of Indian tussar (also known as tropical tussar), which is largely tended to by tribals. Much of it is produced in Bhagalpur, Bihar and West Bengal.
Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also produce tussar silk. In recent years, the state of Jharkhand has emerged as the biggest producer of tussar silk.
History of Tussar Silk
The origin of the craft is not known but it was observed after the 16th century when the first European merchants came to India and surveyed the craft. Four varieties of tussar fabric were mentioned; these were mainly cotton-mixed fabrics. The weaves and colors were very simple at that time.
Both home furnishings and dress material are made from tussar fabric.
The craftsmen involved in this craft come mainly from communities such as Muslims, Scheduled castes and some local tribes. Both women and men are involved in tussar silk production.