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Reviving the art of tussar in Maharashtra

Maharashtra is encouraging tussar weavers, a handwoven fabric of Vidarbha. Weavers will be trained for making tussar fabric. Yarn is provided at the weavers' doorsteps who, in turn, make the garments which are marketed by the Maharashtra State Handlooms Corporation (MSHC).

Tussar weaving is a dying art. There are less than a 100 weavers living in the villages of Nagpur and Bhandara districts. Most of them are above 60 years. As their number is fast diminishing, MSHC has started the process to bring forth a new generation of tussar weavers.

Tussar silk is an exquisite thread obtained from a wide winged moth that is yellowish-brown in color. Produced mainly in India, tussar is highly valued for its natural gold colors. The cost difference between tussar silk and other forms of silk arises from the fact that the former is not fed on mulberry.

A lot more textured than mulberry silk, tussar silk is used in the creation of tussar silk saris and silk suits. Indian attire inspired from traditions and values easily take shape in tussar silk. The dull gold texture that it radiates works as a suitable base for embroideries as well as print motifs that have been inspired by nature. Floral patterns as well as those in the shape of trees, buds, leaves and leaflets serve as a source of inspiration for tussar silk.