Z.M.S. Khan and N. Suryanarayana

Central Tasar Research and Training Institute, Piska Nagri, Ranchi-835 303



    India is producing at present two kinds of tasar silk i.e. (1) Oak tasar or Temperate tasar (Chinese variety ) and (2) Indian tradition tasar or tropical tasar. The first variety recently introduced one confined to sub-Himalayan region which is still under exploitation. Production of Oak tasar silk on commercial scale is yet to come. Second variety is the Indian traditional tasar which is produced by the silkworm A. mylitta, D.India is having the monopoly in producing the above variety of tasar which is confined to tropical Zone of India where tropical forests exist.


    India is the second largest producer of tasar silk after  China and eams about 14 to 15 crorers of foreign exchange annually amounting to 2 to 3% of total silk export earning. tasarculture is  practiced by One lack forty thousand tribal families in Jharkand. Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madya Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh. U.P. and Maharashtra. It gives gainful employment and attractive additoinal income to the tribals. However, for silk yarn and fabric production non tribals are involved.


    Overall in all the above state approximately one lakh tasar handlooms are working at present to produce tasar silk and allied mixed silk fabrics to feed to our internal market as well as for exports. Such tasar reelers and weavers pockets in the country are as follows.


1. Jarkhand/Bihar                  :  Bhagalpur,Bhagiayya, Katoria, Puraini, Chaibasa      

2. Orissa                                 :  Gopalapur, Fakirpur,Naupatna.

3. West Bengal                     :  Tantipada,Raghunathpur,Bishnupur.

4. Chhatisgarh/M.P.              :  Champa, Seoni,Chhuri,Raigarh.

5. Maharastra                        :  Bhandara,Andelgaon,

6. Andhra Pradesh                :  Kosigi, Hakimpet, Pothureddipalli

7. U.P.                                     : Varanasi,Dudhi.


Most of the house holds of the above places of the different states  are engaged  mainly in tasar silk reeling, twisting, weaving, wet processing, finishing and marketing.


Tasar silk has the greater commercial  importance specially in exports. Though, tasar silk out put India is next to China, Quality wise Indian product is exclusive. Indian tasar is widely acclaimed as popular dress material of elegance both in India and abroad.Another reason for its prominence is its wider export market potential exploited since 1950’s thereby finding way for almost 90% of its productoin  for exports which is in sharp contrast to other varieties of natural silks.


Traditional markets for tasar silk export are Singapore, Hong kong, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia where as non traditional markets are USA, United Germany, Canada, Japan, France, Switzerland , United kingdom , Netherlands, Italy, Spain, New Zealand ,Australia and  Czechoslovakia.


Main varieties of tasar silk goods exported are dress materials, sarees, ready made garments, carpets followed by sarees and other above mentioned varieties.


It may be emphasized here that demand for tasar silk fabric goods and made-ups in export market is increasing day by day as consumers are becoming more conscious about the eco-friendly nature of tasarsilk fabrics and made-ups  and efforts to develop eco-friendly dye and finished tasar silk fabrics are on along with qualitative improvement of both reeled and spun tasar silk yarn with an eye upon further boosting tasar silk exports.


Present Status:


Tasar silk fabrics are mostly used as gents wear in our country. The other outlets are in the form of thicker varieties of fabrics like dress material and furnishing fabrics made from tasar ghicha, tasar-ghicha-noil and tasar katia yarn mostly catering to the export markets.


In  tasar  weaving, reeled yarn is almost exclusively used in the wrap. Various types of yarn(reeled or spun) are  used  according to the type desired to be produced. A list of product range in tasar is given below.


In present market following combination of yarns are utilized to make shirting materials.





                        Warp                                   Weft


              1. Tasar Reeled.      X    tasar reeled

              2. Tasar Reeled.      X    Mulberry reeled           

              3. Tasar Reeled.      X    Ghicha

              4. Tasar Reeled.      X    Katia

              5. Tasar Reeled.      X    Balkal(Peduncle silk)

              6. Tasar Reeled.       X   Cotton(Bapta)





Malmal is a type of fine fabric which is utilized for summer wear in our country, mostly in the form of sarees in the following combination.

                         Tasar reeled x tasar Reeled.


Safa and turban cloth


In our country and also in Arabian countries safa is used for protection against sun rays by covering the head with safa which is a type of turban cloth  which is made by the combination of following yarns.


                         Tasar reeled x tasar Reeled


Sanialas(Coffin cloth)


In Arabian countries light weight tasar reeled x Tasar reeled fabric with red border is used as coffin cloth.



In  Indian sub-continent saree is a vary popular dress wear among ladies which is made in the following combinations.


Tasar reeled  x  tasarReeled (With plain boarded)

Tasar reeled  x  tasarReeled (With tie and dye disigne)

Tasar reeled  x  tasarReeled (With stripes and checks)

Tasar reeled  x  tasarReeled (With Prints)

Tasar reeled  x  tasarReeled (Jacquard design)




Chadar or Wrapper is a popular fabric for covering in all the seasons and are made in the following combination.


                         Tasar Reeled x Tasar Reeled (With plain, twill & diamond weaves)

                         Katia  x Katia (Plain & Twill)

                         Tasar reeled x katia

                         Jhuri x jhuri (Heavy weight)


Export varieties/Furnishings :


In India following combinations are woven for manufacturing heavy fabrics for furnishings to be exported.


                     Warp           x     Weft

1. Reeled tasar                x  Noil or spun silk yarn

2. Reeled Tasar               x  Ghicha.

3. Reeled tasar                x  Ghicha + Noil

4. Cotton                          x Ghicha & Noil

5. Spun Silk                     x Ghicha & Noil.

6. Jhuri                             x Jhuri

7. Cotton                          x Jhuri (Double cloth)


In  India tasar is woven almost entirely  on handlooms either on throw shuttle or fly shuttle looms. Very  little effort is known  to have been made to weave tasar on power looms. The preparatory, processes are also conducted by the most primitive methods. Development have been  made towards preparatory  processes as well as weaving and demonstrated in the field.


Future prospects:


Production of finer quality tasar silk.


As “Kimono” in Japan ,  90% of demand of silk fabrics comes from sarees only and if lasting demands have to be made for tasar silk fabrics, it should find place in our ladies dresses particularly sarees. No doubt some quantity of tasar sarees are being  produced but due to coarseness, rough texture and poor finishing they are not very popular. They are generally woven from 50 to 70 denier yarns, which are too heavy for all time use. Considering the above factor  attempts have been made at CTR &TI Rranchi to reel finer variety of tasar rawsilk ranging from 23 denier to 50 denier  followed by weaving warp x weft having 30D  x 23 D, 30D x 30 D, 30Dx 40D and 30Dx 50D combinations. The experiment proved that 30D raw silk can easily  with stand the weaving strain and can be used as warp.


Tasar Silk finishing and product diversification:


Tasar  silk fabrics with natural fawn colour and excellent craftsmanship form exclusive items of world wide reputation. The economic importance of tasar silk today lies in the fact that it has a large export potential which plays an important role in ameliorating the lit of India’s most backward classes in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhatisgarh, Madya Pradesh etc.


Finer variety of tasar fabrics:


The fine variety of tasar fabrics can be produced with 30x40 tasar reeled silk yarn. This will reduce almost 50% of the weight of fabrics. The texture, feel and look of the woven fabrics  can easily be improved by proper finishing. This material can be popularized for making ladies garments  and sarees.


 Improvement of finishing


The finishing of tasar fabrics are generally conducted by traditional methods. There is vast scope for improvement by suitably adopting the modern methodology of de-gumming, bleaching, dyeing, printing, finishing etc.


Improvement in anti-crease property:


Though there is very little anti-crease or crease resistance property in natural silk, Still there is possibility to introduce this property through chemical finishing and blending .Chemical finishing may change the aesthetic appeal of the silk but  by developing suitable blends with man-made fibers the same can be achieved. However R&D efforts are required in this direction.


Tasar as winter wear;


As tasar silk is having certain warmth, this property can be  utilized for the production of garments with the development of suitable blends with wool. The blending of tasar silk will be very much effective if a suitable blending composition is made with woolenised jute. Research work conducted at Jute Technological Research Laboratory (ICAR) reveals that if jute fabric is  treated with 18% Na OH solution for  45 minutes it will give the warmth property almost like wool. Therefore, a suitable tasar blend can also be developed with wollenised  jute. The  fabric  produced out of it will be cheaper than the pure wool. Moreover, it will give the look and feel of silk.


Preparation of Knitted yarn & Fabrics from tasar silk waste;


A suitable technique can be developed for the preparation of knitted yarn and fabric from tasar waste  by blending with pure wool. Synthetic fabric or woolenised jute systematic research work has to be conducted  in this direction.


Development of core spinning of tasar silk:


Core spun tasar silk yarn can be developed with polyester and polyamide as core of the yarn covering with tasar silk. This core spun yarn can be used for producing higher quality  finishing fabrics.


Union fabric:


Various kinds of tasar union fabrics can be produced by the combination of









Reeled tassar


Reeled tassar






Reeled Tassar


Reeled tassar

















The combination of cotton, rayon and Ramie with tasar silk will reduce the cost of tasar fabric as well as weight to the fabric.The combimation  of polyester with tasar will improve the wash and wear along with anti-crease properties. However, systematic trials have to be made to achieve the above characters. These will definitely improve  the consumption of tasar silk goods as dress material in internal market.


Recent achievements against futures needs CTR&TI, Ranchi contribution:


1. Reeling of pierced/emerged cocoons:


Earlier trails had been taken to reel out pierced/emerged cocoons and recently cocoon cooking and reeling of pierced cocoons have been standardized and demonstrated in the filed. One reeler can earn Rs.109.00 per day by reeling pierced cocoons on pedal-cum-motorised reeling-cum-twisting machine with the economics.


2. Tasar Core-spun yarn and fabric


tasarcore spun yarns have been produced with mercerized cotton, polyester and jute in the core wrapped with tasar waste and woven on handlooms. The quality of the core-spun fabrics has been found to be satisfactory and economic.


3. Lac dyeling of tasarsilk yarn and fabric.


tasarsilk yarn and fabrics have been successfully dyed with lac-dyed in combination with mordents and quality tested of colour fastness against wash perspiration  rubbing and light and results found are satisfactory. Efforts are on to commercialize the same.


4. Silk Vs art Silk:


Present scenario reveals that there is keen competition among the fabrics of different varieties produced from different fibers. It has  been understood that there is not a single fiber which can be exactly like silk or which can even be very much like silk. Tasar silk possesses unique aesthetic appeal due to unique luster, feel suppleness, crispness combined with soft hand, resilience and various other properties.


Tasar silk industry is exactly interesting, yet little is known about it. The cultivated silk varies in many respects as compared to tasar silk. Beautiful fabric can be produced out of it. Tasar silk must not simply be considered as a lesser quality of silk. It is a fiber which can stand proudly on it own spreading its unique luster worldwide.