Tassar silk, Kosain in Sanskrit, is one of the most exquisite yarns of Odisha
- Tassar silk refracts two different shades at different angles
- The fabric is also cooler than the other varieties and lot more porous, therefore, breathable
- Tassar sarees have a special place in the domestic life of Odias and is normally wore during various festive occasions
BHUBANESWAR: The ‘National-Level Handloom Expo’, organised by Handlooms, Textiles & Handicrafts department, at Idco Exhibition Ground here entered its third day Tuesday.
The almost month-long expo will continue till February 23.
The uniqueness of the expo is that it celebrates every day on a fabric theme, for instance Monday (January 27) it was Tasaar Day. Some other day it was Bomkai Day, named after the fabric.
India has the unique distinction of being the only country in the world producing all varieties of silk, namely: Mulberry, Tassar, Eri and Muga, one of the stall managers said. Tassar silk, Kosain in Sanskrit, is one of the most exquisite yarns of Odisha. The yarn is obtained from silkworms found mostly in wild forests that do not breed on Mulberry trees but on local trees like Sal, Asan and Arjun. For this reason, it is also known as ‘Wild Silk’. Tassar culture is wildly practised by tribal of Odisha. “Tassar is highly valued for its natural dull gold colours, which make them a great choice for Indian weddings,” said visitor Rashmi Dash.
One of its main properties is to refract two different shades at different angles. This unique feature makes Tassar silk stand out easily in a crowd, as every movement is beautifully highlighted in a merry dance of colours. “Women of all age groups love the fabric, and today it finds a place in the wardrobes of young females in the form of contemporary and stylish designs,” said Kumkum Mohanty, a visitor.
Tassar silk is a lot more textured than any other variety of silks. The fabric is also cooler than the other varieties and lot more porous, therefore, breathable. Being light and cooler than the other varieties of silk makes Tassar extremely wearable in warmer parts of the world. The test of a genuine Tassar saree is to burn the edges slightly. If it smells like burnt hair rather than just leaving a solid residue, you know you have an original Tassar. Dry cleaning is the safest option for Tassar clothes.
Odisha being one of the major Tassar producing states in the country has got the rich tradition of weaving Tassar fabrics of better texture and lustre in comparison to Tassar products of other states. Tassar sarees have a special place in the domestic life and normally used during various pujas (festive occasions). The sarees are designed both on tie-dye and also in extra warp and weft designs. Gopalpur in Jajpur district, Makidia in Balasore district, Fakirpur in Keonjhar district and Dihirakul in Mayurbhanj district are the main weaving areas of Tassar in the northeast part of the state.