South Asian Ways of Silk

A Patchwork of Biology, Manufacture, Culture and History

Ole Zethner, Rie Koustrup, Dilip Barooah, et al.

  • Published: 2018
  • Pages: 254 pp.
  • 273 illusterations
  • Series number: Originally published by BOOKBELL
Published by BOOKBELL in 2015, now distributed worldwide by NIAS Press.
ISBN Paperback: 978-938-5063-07-7, £19.99 ()

About the book

Silk has a long history in South Asia, more than 4,000 years. Today sericulture and silk production provide a livelihood to millions of people, not least tribal women. Here India dominates, being the second largest producer of silk in the world after China. The history of mulberry silk is well known and much has been written on its cultivation and production, especially by and for specialists. The scope and purpose of this volume is quite different, however. Aimed at a broader readership, it presents the diversity and complexity of sericulture and silk production across South Asia and Myanmar within a single, richly illustrated book. Significantly, it explores new directions in sericulture, and suggests alternatives to mulberry silk, which is not without environmental and ethical issues. Special attention is paid to Eri silk, similar to soft cotton and regarded as the most world’s comfortable textile. The result is a fascinating exploration of the world of silk in South Asia, a volume that will interest and intrigue silk specialists and general readers alike.

Besides Zethner, Koustrup and Barooah other authors of this volume are Aminuzzaman Md. Saleh Reza, Dilip K. Subba, Neera Barooah, Sundar Tiwari, Yubak Dhoj, Ghulam Ali Bajwa, Rizwana Ali Bajwa, Daya Ahangama and Moe Moe Win.

About the author

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Ole Zethner is a retired international entomologist, agro-forester and agricultural and tree-planting development advisor. He has long promoted sericulture and both planned and evaluated thousands of Farmer Field Schools in three countries in the region.


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