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Indus

INK

Est. 2020

Modern views. Ancient muse.

An Nyc edit, narrated in indus ink.

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The Magnificence of Muga Silk – The Ancient Silk of Assam

BY Love, Indus | PUBLISHED ON November 17, 2020

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Silk is fascinating.  The first thing to understand is that there’s plenty of critters that produce silk – bees, crickets, wasps, ants, spiders and others – besides silkworms.

And use developed independently in different parts of the world – for instance, the Aztecs used silk cocoons in fabrics and the ancient Greeks used spider silk to dress wounds.  However, what we refer to as silk production or, sericulture, is considered to have originated in China over 5,000 years ago.  That’s when an enterprising individual, lost in the mists of history, figured out how to domesticate what’s known as the mulberry silkworm. The silkworm was selectively bred to produce a white fiber with no mineral surface, which is important because (a) it makes it easier to dye and (b) it isn’t easy making fabric with a sticky fiber like a spider’s web. Interestingly, the domesticated mulberry silkworm does not (and likely cannot) exist on its own in the wild.

Initially, silk was the ultimate luxury – reserved only for the Emperor and those closest to him. It gradually spread from China to Korea, Japan, India and parts elsewhere. It eventually became so popular, that the world’s longest road was named for it (The Silk Road, of course!).

While domesticated silkworm production came to India in the first or second century AD, there is plenty of evidence of wild silk production prior to that. India’s ancient epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata mention a “land of the cocoon rearers” in the country’s east.  For more science-based indicators - there’s archaeological evidence of silk use in the Indus Valley civilization stretching back 4,500 years and silk production in Assam, in the northeast of India is mentioned in the Arthashastra which was written in the 3rd century BC.

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Assam has been producing silk since time immemorial.  Assamese silk is primarily produced from three different types of wild silkworms – Muga, pat and eri. Of these, Muga is the most highly prized for the fiber’s natural golden gloss and is known for its fine texture – which is what makes it one of the most expensive varieties of silk. This unique silk, that looks like spun gold, is also known to increase in luster with every wash. And as a fabric that generally outlives its wearer, Muga silk is known for its incredible strength and durability.

When used on skin, the high-density protein polymer that constitutes this shimmering silk has been found to reduce water loss thereby helping fight the appearance of wrinkles. Our Amrutini® skin strengthening complex includes hydrolyzed Muga silk along with bio-transformed Makaibari tea, vegan ghee, copper and Ashwagandha – all of which work together to fight the passage of time.

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PRODUCTS IN THIS STORY

Amrutini® Collection

The Collection

$285 • (Value $365)

The Amrutini® collection consists of:
1 X Precious Potion Vital Cream (50ml): A daily-use, soft moisturizer
1 X True Brew Transforming Serum (30 ml): A daily-use, silky nectar
1 X Overnight Oasis Luminosity Dewdrops (30ml): An elixir that works while you sleep, to restore skin radiance and health.

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