Also known as tussah, tushar, tassar, tusser and in Sanskrit as kosa silk
Tussar is wild silk that is cultivated in parts of India and South Asia, where it provides a life style and economic means for entire communities. It is produced from Antheraea silk moths (Antheraea paphia, A. mylitta), which mostly live wild in the forests and feed on indigenous leaves other than the traditional mulberry leaves: Sal (Shorea robusta) the Arjun (Terminalia arjuna) and Saka, or Indian oak (Tectona grandis).
* Oak tussar (A. proylei J and A. pernyi) is made by worms fed purely on oak leaves.
* Tussar silk fibres come under the Vanya ( wild ) and Ahimsa( peace) categories – silks that are harvested from the cocoons once the pupa have left. As they emerge from the cocoon the long silk filament that made it is broken and the resultant short fibres now need to be spun to make yarn.
( In traditional seri culture the cocoon is boiled with the silk worm still inside; the heat softens the cocoon and the silk filament can be wound off in a single, very long, length. )
* Spinning short yarns produces a thicker, heavier, more rustic, less durable yarn, which is almost matte.
* Tussar has a naturally deep, dull golden colour, which is in itself very beautiful, but as it takes dye easily it is also available in a many other colours.
* Woven tussar can easily be mistaken for linen at first glance–it is lighter in weight and it resists creasing, making it very good for drapes, bedcovers and blinds.
* Tussar blends easily with angora and wool for extremely versatile textiles with the best qualities of both: soft, light, strong, warm and generally very well behaved.
* Tussar is traditionally used for shantung silk (and therefore sometimes known as shantung). west benghal’s kantha embroidery is stitched on tussar, and it is also used for hand printed bagru textiles.,