Kosa silk is mainly derived from Antheraea mylitta, an Indian silkworm. It is a special type of tussar silk that is drawn out of the cocoons grown on trees like Saja, Sal and Arjun. This preferred pure silk is mostly grown in Chattisgarh. The silk is widely popular owing to its sturdiness, purity and soft texture. Kosa silk is exclusively produced in India only. Kosa Silk Saree is highly popular amongst Indian women. The dull golden brownish texture of the silk is its signature trait. However, it is also found in natural shades of dark honey, fawn, orange, pale golden, cream and many more. The actual colour of kosa is dull gold, but the finished fabric is dyed with natural dyes extracted from palaas flower or Fire flower, dark rose red from lac, red pollen of Rora flower and some other natural contributors.
As already mentioned, kosa silk is the specialty product of Chattisgarh. Two main places namely Champa and Korba are famous for producing maximum quantity of high quality kosa silk. However, the silk produced in Champa is considered to be the best silk across the world. This silk is often exported to different nations around the world.
As you know, the silk is drawn from the cocoons grown on Sal, Saja and/or Arjun trees. The production of kosa silk is an extremely painstaking process. Things become even more complex owing to the unavailability of kosa silk worm. And thus, often raw silk yarn is mixed with polyester or cotton. A standard and simple kosa saree takes around 3 to 5 days to manufacture – from yarn extraction to weaving. However, the number of days may vary depending on the number of workers working on the project.
Faces Behind Kosa
Devangan community is basically the actual proponents of kosa silk products. They come from Champa, Bilaspur, Korba and Raigarh. They are simply committed to kosa silk fabrication. However, to keep up with today’s pace of life, they are also getting involved in other trades as well.
Kosa silk is mostly used for producing Kosa Silk Saree, dhotis, kurtas as well as other ethnic wear. It is also used for furnishing purposes.
The most common yet best way to confirm the purity of kosa silk is by burning a couple of fabric threads. If the fabric is original, the burnt threads will leave a residue which is not like typical ash. It is black instead of grey in colour and has unpleasant odour.
Clothing made of this silk is not usually recommended for daily wear especially for people living at places where the summer is simply scorching. Kosa silk is heavy in nature as well.
- Kosa silk should be washed with milk washing liquid specifically designed for delicate and woolen fabric.
- Use soft water in normal temperature to wash and rinse the clothing.
- Rubbing the cloth is strictly prohibited.
- The cloth should be dried in shade.
- While storing, the folds should be changed at regular intervals.
- If stored for longer period, it must be wrapped with paper.
- Hanger must be used for storing.