Unpicking Distinctions Between Ahimsa, Peace and Mulberry Silk
In this 37 minute lesson, have the honour of listening to the pioneer of non-violent silk production, Mr Rajaiah Kusuma. With research and sheer grit over 10 years, Mr Kusuma was able to produce peace silk fibre and yarn, and in the year 2000 received the patent for Ahimsa™ silk, the trademarked non-violent silk production process. This is a lesson that will help you understand controversy and confusion in regards to claims of ethical silk, and provide you a history of where the need for such a fabric came from. Rajaiah Kusuma is a handloom technical expert, and weaves fabric using Ahimsa™ peace silk yarn for sale at Ahimsa Silks.
In this lesson you will learn:
- The history and journey of how Ahimsa™ came about
- Challenges with producing a peace silk yarn
- Examples of peace silk fibre throughout its processing from cocoon stage, with an explanation of each stage
- Examples of Ahimsa™ fabric that you can purchase
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Ethical silk fabrics and what the complex terminology really meanswith Stephanie Steele
Over on our textile shop Offset Warehouse, we stock a varying range of ethical and sustainable silk fabrics. In fact, everything we choose to retail has been carefully considered for the benefits the textile brings to people and planet. When it comes to silk, there are of course animals involved in the story too, as silk is produced from the cocoon of a caterpillar that has transformed into a moth.
This is an exceedingly complex subject though: on top of the different silk weaves you have to consider when designing, you may also be wanting to consider the ethics and sustainability of your fibre, and within that, you have many different silkworm species, different cultivation methods and different processing techniques to consider ensuring you commit to your values.
In this article then, along with highlighting the beautiful silk textiles in our range, we provide you with a sort of glossary of the terms you will come across when sourcing. What makes silk a sustainable fabric? How can silk be ethical? Continue reading to find out.
Increasing Sustainable Livelihoods With Traceable Organic Silkwith Chul Thai Silk
In this endearing 14 minute lesson, learn from the family business of Chul Thai Silk in regards to how they transitioned to organic sericulture in their home base of Thailand, and support training of organic agricultural practices with marginalised farmers. Understand how organic silk production can be ethical for people, and how this approach to silkworm rearing will support healthy animals too.
Lora Gene: Investigation and Research (Of Silk) As A Tool For A Thriving Businesswith Lora Nikolaeva
In this 35 minute conversation with Lora Nikolaeva, founder of womenswear brand Lora Gene, though our focus was on why the brand use silk in their collections, the discussion turned to one of business theory; how can you as an entrepreneur ensure your business thrives. The answer lies in conducting research and making time to investigate. The silk industry is incredibly complex, with many contrasting opinions over what is best (as with all fibres), and so in this interview, Lora dives into key issues that you may not have considered when making decisions for your designs, such as innovations in what silk fibre can be used for, and that no silk can be cruelty free.
Regenerative and Organic Silk Fibre Cultivationwith Hilmond Hui
In this bumper 42 minute lesson, Vice President of Bombyx, Hilmond Hui, takes us through how they are combining traditional sericulture techniques with regenerative farming, technology and research to produce ethical, sustainable silk.
Bombyx is a 6-year project under the umbrella of PSGHL, a garment manufacturing hub in China. Their aim is to create a vertical supply chain that will ulimately decrease margins - silk is a massively expensive fabric after all - while increasing demand for better methods, such as regenerative farming. Here the onus is on the very start of the supply chain for silk fibre, with the inputs of mulberry leaves. Hilmond generously and energetically provides wisdom on what traditional sericulture looks like in China, what regenerative organic methods can bring to this industry and beyond, and the nuances of ethics when it comes to mulberry silk.
The Ethical Silk Company: Building A Brand Around Peace Silk Fabric and Fair Trade Productionwith Eva Power
This is a 30 minute interview with Eva Power, the founder of The Ethical Silk Company. This is a brand making luxury women's nightwear and accessories from ethically sourced mulberry peace silk. Founded through a connection with family in India, and an appreciation of the benefits of silk for bedding, Eva has developed the business to incorporate heritage crafts, fair trade manufacture and honest sharing of the ethical sourcing she uses.
In this lesson you will hear not only about the benefits of using silk, but how to build a brand on just one solid quality item. Learn about the challenges in running a business, and opportunities for working transparently with your producers.
Understanding Silk Fabrics and Fibre Terminologywith Dr. Matias Langer
In this 26 minute lesson, hear from Dr. Matias Langer, the founder of Germany-based silk fabric dealer Seidentraum. Seidentraum's fabrics are all sourced from organic non-violent silk producers in India and China, and in this interview we learn from Dr. Langer on what the importance of silk is, depiction of nuances in silk cultivation terminology, and how you can utilise silk as a beautiful fabric in your fashion brand, including how it can be dyed and printed according to organic standards.
What Is Silk And How Is Silk Fibre Producedwith Stephanie Steele
In this Technical Tutorial, we address what silk is and where it comes from, along with methods of silk fibre production. It is accompanied by a film - slightly edited with permission - created in partnership with Ahimsa Silks (Mr Rajaiah Kusuma) and Goethe-Zentrum Hyderabad productions, that showcases the different methods used in conventional mulberry silk production and mulberry peace silk production, along with imagery of silk being spun and woven by hand and on handlooms.
This Tutorial is an overview of silk production methods, and we recommend that you also dive into the case studies from producers, fabric dealers and brands to better understand the nuances of this fibre - and the ethics of it.