What is tussar silk?
Tussar silk (also known as Tasar/Tussah/Kosa) is a type of wild silk produced primarily in the states of West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. It is produced from silkworms called antherea mylitta that feed on the leaves of the arjun and asan plants (each variety of silk is distinguished by the type of silkworms producing the silk yarn along with the leaves they eat).
Characteristics of tussar silk
Tussar silk reflects the exotic and untamed spirit of the wild silkworm producing it, in its feel, colour and sheen. It is quite textured, comes in a range of natural colours like beige, cream, honey and tawny, and has an uneven golden sheen. It is often dyed to take up more vibrant colours and can be easily blended with cotton, wool, linen or other silks. Clothes made of tussar silk have unique thermal properties - they keep warm in winter and cool in summer.
Sarees from tussar silk
Sarees are by far the most abundant product of tussar silk. Traditional Bengal tussar sarees come in the natural shades of beige or cream with a coloured border and pallav, and floral and paisley motifs woven across the body. Contemporary designs with striped or geometric patterns are quite popular as well. Tussar silk also forms a great canvas for kantha embroidery, where the plain fabric is colourfully adorned with embroidered patterns to form the borders and pallav of the saree.
Tussar Silk. In Wikipedia. Retrieved 17 September 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tussar_silk
More about Silkworms and Silk fiber - Mulberry, Muga, Tasar and Eri. Retrieved 17 September 2015, from http://mytextilenotes.blogspot.be/2010/09/more-about-silkworms-and-silk-fiber.html