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Ahimsa silk 

Ahimsa silk, also known as peace silk, is a type of silk that is purported to be made in a fashion that is much more humane to the creatures creating the silk than many traditional methodologies. Ahimsa is a word that derives from the Sanskrit language and translates as non-violence. This ideal is a key component of a larger way of living that is taken up by many people in the Indian subcontinent, most famously Mahatma Gandhi. A vast majority of Ahimsa silk is made from the cocoon of the Bombyx mori moth whose young feed on the leaves of the mulberry tree.

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Kusuma Rajaiah 

Kusuma Rajaiah, a government officer from the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, applied theories based on the Ahimsa ideology to the manufacture of silk, & discovered a more humane way of extracting the silk instead of killing the very creatures that created it. Traditional silk manufacturing methods involve boiling the cocoons of the silkworm and then sorting out the threads to be used later in production. Rajaiah's method involves a gentler approach, specifically letting the worms hatch and then using the cocoons once vacant. He started deploying this process in 1990 and has since been supported by a larger community of people interested in the welfare and rights of animals and non-humans.

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Cocoons 

The process of creating silk humanely begins in one of two ways: either the pupa is allowed to hatch and the leftover cocoon is then used to create silk, or the cocoon may be cut open, achieving much the same result but often saving the resultant material from contamination by urine from the hatching moth.

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Yarn 

Each cocoon is checked individually to ensure that the moth has escaped before the silk thread is spun.
Spinning takes around two months and weaving takes another month.

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Fabric 

Ahimsa silk is promoted as having the popular properties of regular silk. Even though it is slightly less lustrous, it is even softer to the touch.

 

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