Kusama Rajaiah, a Hyderabad based textile technocrat, has developed an innovative way of making silk that does not involve the killing of silkworms. The Ahimsa silk, as Rajaiah calls it, is made by harnessing silk filaments from broken cocoons after the silk moths fly away by piercing them at maturity.
The idea originated after a request from then first lady of India (between 1987 and 1992) Janaki Venkataraman for a silk sari made without killing a silkworm. As thousands of silkworms are killed in order to make a small piece of fabric.
The request got Rajaiah curious and he took up an extensive research on this. Finally, he launched his brand of non-violent mulberry silk in 1992. By introducing this silk to the world, Rajaiah could also fulfil the desire of Mahatma Gandhi who wanted the silk industry to follow the ahimsa process of making silk.
Ahimsa silk can be best alternative for shopping fancy saris and heavy pattu silk if one is looking for something unique like cruelty free saris. Ahimsa silk is better quality-wise and cost only one-and-half times more than the conventional silk and lasts longer.
Rajaiahâ€™s Ahimsa silk has many takers in Germany, Israel, United Kingdom, United States and Europe. The saris, stoles, shirts, lingerie, shawls and other silk material are imported by leading designers across the world.
For instance, wardrobes of royal families have Ahimsa silk. Also, the pre-Oscar gown for filmmaker James Cameronâ€™s wife was designed using Ahimsa silk. Former Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and American actor Courtney Cox have been a patron of these saris. However, there are not many takers for Ahima silk products in the twin cities.
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