Kosa silk, also known as Tussar silk or Tussah silk.

It is one of the famous arts and crafts of Chhattisgarh.

It is a type of silk fabric that is produced from the cocoon of the Antheraea moth.

 As extracted from specially grown cocoons on specific trees known as Arjun, Saja, and Sal.

So, primarily the Antheraea mylitta and Antheraea proylei species.

It is known for its rich texture, natural gold sheen, and coarse surface.

It is primarily produced in India, particularly in the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and parts of Bihar, West Bengal, and Orissa.

Kosa silk is known for its durability.

So, preferred over pure silk in the Cg state Known worldwide for its soft texture and purity, this version of Tussar silk is produced exclusively in India.

Starting from the initial color of Kosa which is dull yellow.

Then the finished product is dyed with natural dyes from palaas flowers (fire flowers), red pollen of Rora flowers deep pink-red of the lake, and some natural ingredients.

Process of making Kosa Silk

Making a simple kosa sari can take about three to five days, from threading to weaving, depending on the number of people working on it.

Current scenario Today, Silk is not only used to design traditional Indian outfits like sarees and lehengas.

Designers around the world use the same approach when designing Western-style fabrics and outfits.

Faces behind the cloth The Devangan community was the first to offer products made from silk.

They came from Bilaspur, Raigarh, Korba, and Champa towns of Chattisgarh and were largely involved in the production of silk.

It is true that the Devangan community is not only devoted to the production of silk.

With the emergence of the new generation, they are also turning to other professions.

Modern uses silk is used to make sarees, kurtas, dhotis, and other ethnic outfits besides being used for interior decoration.

Kosa silk needs care 

To wash kosa silk

– Always wash with a mild detergent gel, used for wool and silk.

– Always use clean water at normal temperature for washing and rinsing

– Do not rub the fabric.

– Always dry in the shade.

For iron: – Iron at low to medium temperature and never iron out wrinkles.

To be saved kosa silk

– Change folds regularly.

– When storing in a box for a long time, wrap it with newspaper.

– Always use hangers for storage.


Here are some key characteristics and information about Kosa silk

Silkworm Species of Kosa silk

 Silk is derived from wild silkworms, unlike the more common mulberry silk which comes from domesticated silkworms. The Antheraea moth spins its cocoon in the wild, typically on the leaves of trees like the Arjun, Saja, and Sal, which are commonly found in the Indian subcontinent.

Natural Color Variation of Kosa silk

 Kosa is naturally beige or pale gold in color, which gives it a unique and earthy appearance. The color of Kosa can vary slightly depending on the diet of the silkworms and environmental factors.

Texture and Feel of Kosa silk

Kosa has a coarse texture compared to mulberry silk, which is smoother. This coarse texture adds to its appeal and makes it suitable for both traditional and contemporary clothing.


 Kosa silk is known for its durability and strength. It can withstand wear and tear better than some other types of silk.


 Kosa silk is popularly used in the weaving of traditional Indian garments such as sarees, dhotis, and kurta-pajamas. It is also used in creating home furnishings like curtains, bedspreads, and pillow covers.

Dyeing and Printing

 Kosa silk can be easily dyed and printed upon, allowing for a wide range of color variations and designs.

Cultural Significance

 Kosa silk has significant cultural and economic importance in the regions where it is produced. It provides livelihoods for numerous artisans and weavers.


 Since Kosa silk is derived from wild silkworms, it is often considered a more sustainable option compared to mulberry silk, which relies on silkworm farming. The process of harvesting Kosa silk is generally less resource-intensive.

Global Appeal

 Kosa silk has gained popularity not only in India but also in other parts of the world due to its unique texture and appearance.

Kosa silk is valued for its rustic charm and natural beauty. Its production supports local communities and provides an eco-friendly alternative to conventional silk production. It is often chosen for its distinct aesthetic and ethical considerations in the world of fashion and textiles.

Origin of Kosa silk

Kosa silk, also known as Tussar silk or Tussah silk, has its origins in India. It is primarily produced in several states in eastern and central India, with a long history of sericulture and silk weaving.

Korba and Champa in Chattisgarh state in India, are known to produce high-quality Kosa silk. Kosa silk produced in Champa is considered the best in the world and exported to many countries

Here’s more information about the origin and production of Kosa:

Geographical Origin

 The production of Kosa is concentrated in the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal, and parts of Orissa in India. These regions are rich in the types of trees, such as Arjun, Saja, and Sal, on which the Antheraea silk moths spin their cocoons.

Natural Habitat

 The Antheraea silk moths, which are responsible for producing the silk used in Kosa, thrive in the natural forests of these regions. They are known as wild silkworms because they are not domesticated like the mulberry silkworms.

Traditional Sericulture

 The production of Kosa involves the traditional practice of collecting the wild silkworms’ cocoons from the forest after they have spun their silk. These cocoons are then processed to extract the silk fibers.

Historical Significance

 The production of Tussar silk, including Kosa, has a long history in India. It has been practiced for centuries and is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the regions where it is produced.

Cultural Significance

 Kosa silk holds cultural significance in Indian traditions and rituals, particularly in regions where it is produced. It is commonly used for making traditional Indian garments like sarees, as well as other textiles and handicrafts.

Sustainable Sericulture

 Kosa production is often considered more sustainable than the production of mulberry silk because it relies on wild silkworms that feed on naturally occurring tree leaves, reducing the need for extensive silkworm farming and cultivation of specific host plants.

Local Artisans

 The production of Kosa involves the skilled work of local artisans and weavers who have inherited the craft from generations past. These artisans play a crucial role in the entire silk production process, from cocoon collection to weaving.

Economic Importance

 Kosa production provides livelihoods for many rural communities in the aforementioned states, contributing to the local economy.

Kosa origin lies in the natural forests of eastern and central India, where the unique environment and availability of specific trees have supported the thriving population of Antheraea silk moths and the production of this distinctive and culturally significant silk variety.

Design Elements of Kosa Silk

Kosa, known for its natural elegance and unique texture, is often used to create a variety of designs and patterns. The design elements of Kosa garments can vary widely, but they typically incorporate a combination of the following elements:

Natural Color Variations

Kosa is naturally beige or pale gold in color. This natural hue adds a rustic charm to the fabric. Designers often use the natural color variations in Kosa to create subtle and earthy designs.


 Kosa is a popular choice for intricate hand embroidery. Traditional embroidery techniques, such as Kantha embroidery, Zardozi work, and Chikan embroidery, are commonly used to embellish Kosa garments. These embroidery styles often feature intricate motifs, floral patterns, and decorative stitches.


 Kosa can be easily dyed and printed. Various printing techniques, such as block printing, screen printing, and digital printing, are employed to create a wide range of designs on Kosa sarees, dresses, and other garments. Floral, geometric, and abstract patterns are commonly seen in Kosa prints.

Resham Work

 Resham, or silk threadwork, is often used to create delicate and colorful designs on Kosa. This type of work can include floral motifs, paisley patterns, and intricate borders.

Zari Work

 Zari, or metallic thread, is frequently used to add a touch of opulence to Kosa garments. Zari’s work involves weaving or embroidery with gold or silver-colored threads, creating patterns that shimmer and catch the light.

Traditional Motifs

 Kosa designs often feature traditional Indian motifs and symbols. These motifs can include peacocks, elephants, lotus flowers, and other culturally significant elements.

Border Designs

 Borders play a crucial role in Kosa sarees and other garments. The border can be plain, adorned with intricate embroidery, or feature contrasting colors and patterns. Borders can significantly impact the overall look of the garment.

Contrasting Blouse

 To create a visually appealing ensemble, many Kosa sarees are also paired with contrasting blouses. The blouse fabric may feature complementary or contrasting designs to enhance the overall look.

Pallu Design

 The pallu (the loose end of the saree that is draped over the shoulder) is also often adorned with elaborate designs and motifs. This part of the saree can be a focal point of the overall design.

Texture of Kosa silk

 The natural texture of Kosa itself is also a design element. Its coarse and slightly uneven texture gives it a distinct look and feel, making it an attractive choice for those who appreciate textured fabrics.

The design elements of Kosa garments can be both traditional and contemporary, catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer the timeless elegance of traditional motifs and embroidery or the modern appeal of abstract prints, Kosa offers a versatile canvas for creating stunning and unique designs.

You might also enjoy:

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *