Sericulture:Silk diversity

Sericulture is the branch which involves rearing of silkworm which produce silk. This involves three process i.e. cultivation of mulberry( Moriculture) or food plant for insect, rearing of silkworm and reeling and spinning of silk.

However origin for silk production roots from China. It is also said that Tipu Sultan was the first South Indian ruler to introduce this in India.

The Central silk board was started in 1948 and it’s headquarter is situated in Bengaluru (Karnataka). It is mainly involved in research and development of silk sector.

Silkworm undergoes complete metamorphosis and constitute of four stages in life cycle:Egg, larvae, pupa and adult.

Pupa is the most important stage as through this stage only cocoon is obtained which is reeled to produce silk. Silk is the salivary secretion secreted by pair of silk gland located in head region.

Types of silkworm: There are four types of natural silk commercially produced .

1.Mulberry silk which constitutes 95 % of total production. These silkworm feed on mulberry leaves. This is mainly found in Southern states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu.

2.Non- mulberry silk includes tasar silk, eri silk and muga silk.

Eri silkworm feeds on castor leaves and is also called Ahimsa silk as This does not involves killing of moth to obtain silk. This is mainly reared in Meghalaya, Assam and Northeast state.

Tasar silkworm feeds on ber, arjun plant .It is mainly found in Jharkhand,Bihar,West Bengal etc.

Muga silkworm feeds on som and sualu leaves. This silkworm is reared in Assam and also called Assam silk. It is known for it’s glossy, fine texture and durability.