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India has always had a special relationship with silk. 

Silk is the queen of fibres with a long history blended into the heritage of India over several centuries. And the silk-loving community, with a penchant for fashion crafted with heritage and tradition, have made it their life’s goal to take this legacy forward. 

Today, we’re not just talking about silk, but pure silk that has been a part of many celebrations, rituals and special moments in people’s lives. From their varieties to the range of their production, we’re here to provide a panoramic view of India’s enriching silk culture. 

Scroll down and learn every facet that makes pure silk and India’s silk heritage phenomenal.

India’s Silk Heritage: A Revered Treasure

Archaeological research has shown evidence of sericulture during the Bronze Age in places like Harappa and Chanhudaro which was done using wild silk threads from native silkworm species. Similarly, the Arthashastra, written around the 4th century BC and inscriptions from the Gupta empire, mentions a guild of silk weavers. Romans were known to have imported all of their silk from India, via the Persians who controlled the Silk Route at the time. Even today, Indians adore including pure silk in their wardrobes, saving them for special occasions. After all, what’s not to love?

Also Read: An Insight On Indian Ethnic Wear 

Ethereal Designs and Colours

India has always boasted a rich lineage of textile printing and embroidery. Paisley, trefoil, birds, animals, natural objects and geometric patterns, there are so many designs made on textiles. They can also depict ceremonial occasions and landscapes. Pure silk fabrics can be printed in various ways like direct or roller printing; discharge printing; resist printing; hand block printing; duplex printing; flock and screen printing. 

From stunning Banarasi brocades to a wide range of jacquard, satin, crepe, chiffon, taffeta and dupion, India offers a breathtaking assortment of pure silk textiles both hand-woven and machine-made sectors. 

Block Prints: The art of Hand block printing dates back centuries. Artisans create unique designs usually depicting floral patterns or geometric designs. Some are known to use natural dyes to preserve the integrity of pure silk fabric, while others employ the use of artificial dyes in fascinating colour palettes.

Screen Printing: Screen printing is one of the most popular forms used to create gorgeous designs. Different regions of the country produce specific and unique designs, patterns and colours to fascinate and inspire consumers. 

Hand Painting: Hand painting is one of the most expensive and gorgeous ways of decorating a pure silk fabric. Artists create pure silk collections by painting various kinds of designs that can depict anything ranging from flora to fauna and even portraits and landscapes. After the painting process, the fabric is processed in a steam chamber and later stretched, washed and roll-polished. 

Hand Embroidery: Hand and Machine Embroidery are used quite extensively in apparel and home textile products. Not only is pure silk fabric embroidered on, but various other fabrics are decorated with silk thread embroidery to create high-value fabrics. 

Do Read: The Fabulous Festive Panorama of Indian Silks

Indian Silk Specialties

Today, India is not only a leading silk exporter but also one of its biggest consumers. This is one of the reasons why pure silk is used to produce such a wide variety of products. These silk specialities produced in India form an innovative legacy for designers, marketers and consumers today and they’re purchased for important festivals, religious ceremonies, gifts, occasions like weddings etc. 

One of the most common uses of pure silk is in the evergreen saree. Silk Sarees are embedded into our culture thanks to their artistic and aesthetic value. Designers of silk saree are masters of the weave, producing a myriad of products in beautiful textures with stunning designs like floral and geometric that are durable. These sarees, once bought, become heirloom pieces that are entwined with intense feelings and emotions. 

Similarly, you have ready-made home textiles and garments. Even though India’s been facing tough competition from countries like China, Hong Kong and South Korea, it has successfully carved a niche for itself in this market. India’s reach in producing pure silk garments through couture and fashion brands along with brands that specialise in home furnishings, menswear, accessories, etc has been extremely successful thanks to the primary advantage of design and innovation. Just keep in mind that when you’re purchasing any silk product, it has a Silk Mark Label on it to verify its authenticity.

Know More: When Glamour Weds Craft & Culture- Weddings & Traditional Silks

Indian Pure Silks – The Tactical Advantage

The production of pure silk in India is a complex framework that works tirelessly to produce this fabric. A large structural base for cocoon and silk production; well-established research; training and institutional support; high capacity to produce fabrics in infinite ethnic, traditional and modern variety of designs; the ability to supply services and made-to-order products even in small quantities; the existence of finely-honed hand-spinning skills; high techno-transfer of traditional weaving skills from generation to generation by master craftsmen; great vibrancy in colours, patterns and designs; high amenability of Indian silks for blending with cotton and synthetics; world-over recognition in beauty and quality; eco-friendliness and low pollution methods in the production chains; the competency in designing for international collections; a greater hold on world markets for home furnishings; the uniqueness in hand-weaving textures; high dye- and print-holding capacity; and the great feeling that “Yes, nothing else can match Indian Silk”- all of these have created a finely tuned industry that is the Indian Pure Silk Production. 

The True Indian Legacy Of Pure Silks

India has a well-developed silk value chain even though many parts of the manufacturing processes are decentralized primarily in the hand-woven segment of the industry. We’ve come a long way from traditional silk production. We’re not better equipped with the technology and infrastructure to push up production of bivoltine-based, warp-grade silk for the power loom sector and export.

Traditionally, production has been driven by domestic demand mainly for heavier handloom fabrics. However, changing consumer tastes and greater affordability are forcing the industry to change its production strategy to meet the changing demand patterns, allowing India to grow its share of the world markets. Authentic Indian textiles have inspired leading designers as well as consumers worldwide to embrace their rich traditions and heritage and produce unique collections. Furthermore, India now has a government-approved pure silk authentication process which any regular person can verify through the Silk Mark Label

While the modern fashion business, from designer to store window, is one of the most selective streams out there, it is also extremely imaginative and glamorous. The silk legacy continues to lead designers to proudly exhibit the incredible ‘Indian-made’ heritage of pure silk through their products. The growing fashion industry has shone a new light on pure silk and the importance of purchasing authentic pure silk products, instead of cheap knockoffs and fakes. This is why India now has the Silk Mark Label!

Must Read: The Ultimate Modern Bridal Wear: An Insight Into What’s In Vogue

About The Silk Mark Label

Due to their popularity, Indian silks have become the victims of poor duplicates and fake being circulated in the market at throw-away prices. It’s tough for a regular person to find authentic, pure silk. However, thanks to the Silk Mark Label, finding yourself an authentic pure silk garment has become easier. 

Silk Mark Label is the world’s first and only label of purity of silk from the Government of India. It is a label affixed only to 100% pure silk products after due diligence. The authenticity of Silk Mark is assured by the Silk Mark Organisation of India (SMOI). According to their guidelines, a 100% pure silk product is one in which the base fabric, both warp and weft, is made up of any of the 4 varieties of natural silks namely, Mulberry, Tussar, Eri and Muga Silk.

For those looking to purchase authentic silk products, the Silk Mark Label makes it easier to buy high-quality, pure silk sarees. Moreover, as buyers, the Silk Mark Label helps us fulfil our responsibility to support the livelihood of almost 10 million marginal farmers, reelers, dyers, weavers and craftsmen across the country involved in the silk industry.

Also Read: Say Hello To Silk Mark Assured Pure Silks- Adding Glit

Final Words

Silk, the most loved fabric in the world, spells luxury, elegance and class. It’s unmatched in grandeur and has reigned supreme as the undisputed ‘Queen of Textiles’ for centuries. Natural sheen, an inherent affinity for dyes and rich colours, high absorbance, light weight yet stronger than a comparable steel filament, poor heat conduction (warm in winter, cool in summer), low static current generation (does not attract dust to adhere to), resilience and excellent drape are some of the irresistible, endearing, enduring qualities of silk. The sheer fineness, harmony of colours and intricacy of designs are hallmarks of India’s enchanting range of pure silks. But your precious silk possession is no good if it’s a fake or a cheap knockoff. 

When purchasing pure silk products, the best way to ensure their authenticity is by checking for the Silk Mark Label. When a product comes with a Silk Mark Label, you know it’s only of the purest and highest quality. 

Make sure you also check out their website to learn more about all the stores that carry fabrics that are Silk Mark assured!


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India’s Sensational Silk Heritage: A Revered Treasure

by Shivani Singh

India’s Sensational Silk Heritage: A Revered Treasure