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. )
* 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.,