Silk is a general protein fiber highly composed of fibroin and is produced from specific insect larvae to form cocoons. The method of silk production by cultivating silkworms is called sericulture. The silk industry needs limited funds because it does not need complex machinery and devices to manufacture it. It is more concentrated in labor compared to investment-focused industries. These factors stimulate the development of the industry. However, high prices for raw silk mainly hamper the silk industry. Growing demand in Europe, combined with growing demand for textiles, is expected to boost the global silk industry during the forecast period. The absorption of silk makes it very comfortable to wear, especially in hot weather. Its lower conductivity leaves hot air near the skin in cold climates. This increases the use of silk for garments such as shirts, formal wear, haute couture, pajamas, dresses, suits, and sun dresses. Textile is the fastest growing silk application. Silk is an important donor to the textile company that is constantly progressing and developing based on attractiveness and supply. Silk’s glossy appearance is due to the prism-shaped triangular shape of the silk fiber which helps the silk fabric refract light from many angles, thereby creating various colors. In addition to the textile market, silk also has uses in medicine and cosmetics. The mulberry silk sector has reigned in the market by value and volume and is expected to continue dominating in the coming years.
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The mulberry silk sector has been dominating the industry of silk on the basis of worth and mass and is predicted to maintain its lead in the next few years. Tussar silk is the second-leading variant of silk that is used after mulberry silk type.
Textile is the quickest developing application of silk. Silk is one of the major contributor’s to the textile business that is constantly advancing and rising on the basis of demand and supply.
Impact of Covid-19 on Silk Market:
The coronavirus blockade has severely affected the silk industry in the Asia Pacific, which has the major portion of the worldwide silk market. For instance, more than 20,000 weavers and workers in Sualkuchi, the center of Assam’s silk industry in India, faced uncertainty due to the new coronavirus pandemic and the national blockade to curb the spread of the disease. Because the foreclosure of coronavirus prevention has affected many industries, including sericulture, silk farmers have to use mulberry trees on their farms as fodder for cows. As an example, Udayakumar, originally from Vandithavalam, had to let his cow eat the mulberry trees he cultivated to produce silkworm cocoons. Silk producers in Kerala suffered huge losses after closing the Ramanagaram market in Karnataka as part of the prevention of COVID-19. Ramanagaram is the main silk cocoon market in South India. When it closed, even the last hope of a new harvest was lost and the berries were given as fodder for the cow, said Udayakumar, who is also secretary of the Sericulture Society in Palakkad. After the cessation of silk imports from China, one kilogram of cocoon rose to Rs.600 in the Ramanagaram market until two weeks ago. After this, the farmers took all measures to increase production. But the market closed shortly thereafter, leaving farmers in trouble. They had to abandon agriculture halfway. Although there is a market in Udumalpet in Tamil Nadu run by a private person, Kerala silk cocoons are not accepted. In addition to these barriers, resellers also require a collection certificate stating that the product is from a coronavirus-free region. Some of the larger companies in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have facilities, but the lock down has closed all access routes. Silk producers have asked the government to provide emergency financial assistance to survive the situation.