Silk has been since the beginning of textile history, the most beloved fabric and patronised by royalty and nobility alike. Its luxurious sheen and exotic nature made it the most sought after natural fibre even today. However, the dark side of the silk industry was one that of cruelty and unethical means of production. But all hope is not lost.
Deep in the hills of the North-Eastern Indian state of Assam lies a type of silkworm that produces the finest, most exquisite silk threads that can be extracted without hurting the caterpillars. Introducing Eri Silk, also known as ‘Ahimsa’ Silk.
Inspired by the Assamese word ‘era’, which means castor, Eri Silk is produced by the Samia ricini worms that feed on castor plants. Unlike the conventional sericulture practices, the woolly Eri Silk is often referred to as the fabric of peace or Ahimsa silk. Eri Silk is processed without killing the silkworm that spins short filaments to create a cocoon with an opening at one end, which allows the moth to emerge unhurt. Once the cocoon is abandoned, it is degummed, processed in boiling water, made into small cakes, dried and spun into threads which are then woven into an end product like sophisticated Cushion Covers from Veaves.
The tradition of eri silk cultivation and weaving is deeply rooted in the life and culture of the people of Assam, as the humid climes of the state are favourable for eri silk culture. As part of their daily lives, rural and tribal women traditionally carry out the process of spinning and weaving eri silk providing a source of income and livelihood for them. We, at Veaves, work closely with these women to produce and weave eri silk into the finest, lustrous fabric that will serve as the future of sustainable luxury.
In fact, Eri Silk, which was once known as the poor person’s silk has always existed as an eco-friendly alternative and is now on its way to redefining luxury. Veaves intends to bring Eri Silk to the global spotlight as sustainable, luxurious silk that combines the softness of silk, comfort of cotton and warmth of full.
What’s more? It is 100% eco-friendly, organic and provides a livelihood to a predominantly female-dominated workforce, which is what Veaves stand for. By choosing Eri Silk from Veaves, you choose to side with sustainability, empathy and peace. Eri Silk is just one of the many examples of the miracles of our environment. Veaves believe that nature is the ultimate form of luxury as it can be found if only one goes looking for it. We like to call eri silk nature’s premium gift to us.
In retrospection, luxury is no more about being exotic, but rather it is about being authentic, local and handcrafted. Today, we have come to a point of turning back to our roots, turning back to nature and respecting its value. As Veaves work with materials like eri silk, it teaches us a valuable lesson that for far too long, we have taken nature for granted and that the present and future of this world are one of kindness not just to ourselves but to our planet as well.