Located on the Ganges River, the Indian city of Bhagalpur is known as Silk City. By the 7th century, Bhagalpur was recognized as a trading hub, but the silk industry is barely 200 years old. A prominent institution in Bhagalpur, the Silk Institute provides training and education in the silk trade. Although Tussah or Tusser silk is the best-known product of the area, Matka silk is also woven in the region.
Matka Silk is also obtained from the states of Karnataka and Kashmir, its spinning is done in Malda and Murshidabad districts in West Bengal.
What is Matka Silk?
Matka means “rough handloom silk fabric.” It comes from thick yarn spun from the silkworm Bombyx Mori which results in some irregularities in the texture of the fabric. Matka silk resembles the tweed fabric in texture. In spite of the irregularities of the Maka Silk texture, it is considered unique. Matka sews very easily which makes it a delight for a tailor.
How is Matka Silk made?
The first stage is called sericulture. This is the cultivation of silkworms. The most popular species for obtaining mulberry silk is Bombyx mori. The worms are raised in a controlled environment and are fed mulberry leaves. The worms form a cocoon around themselves by secreting a protein from the top of their heads. The resulting yarn is rougher than a regular silk yarn, but it maintains the sheen that silks are known for. So what you get is a fabric similar to linen but with all the richness of silk. It is mostly made in Murshidabad of Bengal, and hence Matka is mostly found in typical Bengali handlooms like Jamdani work sarees and others. Read more about it here.
What makes Matka Silk special?
Compared to Muga & Tassar, Matka is a cheaper counterpart. It does not possess the golden finish of the other two but it is a delight to weave and this saree allows for more complicated patterns and better print designs. Thus, even though the fabric itself is cheap, costing about Rs. 1000-1500, it is the designs and works that make it a very famous fabric. These sarees especially go well with the Jacquard Weave. A saree with this material should cost upwards to Rs. 3000.
It is a versatile fabric and easy to use. Besides using these sarees, dresses, suits, jackets, and furnishings, it is also well suited for kids stuff toys.
Maintenance & More:
- Keep the saree away from direct sunlight as it damages the sheen.
- Use warm water and avoid heavy detergents
Do check out our collection of Matka Silk Sarees below: