why was india not known for silk production?

Mar 2019
1,809
KL
im not sure about chinese silk clothings and their production, but i found a curious reference to silk from the romans

I can see clothes of silk, if materials that do not hide the body, nor even one's decency, can be called clothes. ... Wretched flocks of maids labour so that the adulteress may be visible through her thin dress, so that her husband has no more acquaintance than any outsider or foreigner with his wife's body.

— Seneca the Younger, Declamations Vol. I.[19]
such clothing was frequently depicted on shunga era arts from the pre christian era, thin clothings were shown which couldn't hide the body, such an art is also perhaps depicted in one indus mother goddess statue as well

muslin like clothing was developed from cotton as well.

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National Museum, New Delhi

but such clothings are also seen in ancient egypt and the fabric is most probably lenin

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Mar 2019
1,809
KL
The Mandsaur inscription of Kumara Gupta I , AD 436 ( image) describes a Guild of Silk- Weavers ( Pattavya sreni) & its prosperous finances as shown by its construction of an unequalled temple of the Sun.

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Mar 2019
1,809
KL
indian archaeologist prof vasant shinde also indicates that indian silk was using silk from domesticated silk worms as early as indus valley civilization


41:40
 
Mar 2019
1,809
KL

The arthashastra of Kautilya mentioned flourishing trade with Kamrup. He mentioned finest sik of his times was produced in Sonkuriha (Suvarnakundya).[1][2] It also produced a special perfume named 'Tailaparnika', which also produced in at least six other places within Kamrup region. The Kamrup also produced Chandana and Aguru products at that time.

Like rest of Kamrup region, language used in Sonkuriha is Kamrupi language.

Sericulture in Assam is an ancient industry without a precise time of origin. Assam was well known for the production of high quality silk since ancient times. The craft of weaving goes along with the production of silk. Weaving is an important characteristic of North East India Neolithic culture. It had been practiced among all the ethnic groups of Assam. The craft of weaving grew to such sophistication in Assam that it was known all over India and abroad.The first reference to Assam silk was probably in Valmiki's Ramayana. It mentions Magadha, Anga, Pundra and 'the country of cocoon rearers to the east' of Pundra.[6] Kautilya’s Arthashastra, a political literature of the 3rd century BC, makes references to the highly sophisticated silk clothing from Assam. Kautilya mentioned the production of Dukula, a kind of Silk fabric produced from cocoons in ancient Assam. This Dukula had three varieties. The first variety which was white in colour and very soft in texture was known as Vangika. It can be identified today as Paat Silk. The second variety known as Paundrika can be identified as Eri silk while the third variety which was known as Suvarnakudyaka due to its golden colour can be easily identified as Muga silk.
 
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Mar 2019
1,809
KL
incentives for silk weavers in Arthashastra

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elaborate mention of silk weaving in Arthashastra


The above will explain the fabrics known as kauseya, silk-cloth, and chinapatta, fabrics of China manufacture.

Of fibrous garments (kshauma), cotton cloths (dukúla), silk (krimitána), mail armour (kankata), sulphuret of arsenic (haritála), red arsenic (manassilá), ...

Those who manufacture fibrous cloths, raiments, silk-cloths, woollen cloths, and cotton fabrics shall be rewarded by presentations such as scents, garlands of flowers, or any other prizes of encouragement.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,817
New Delhi, India
Silk was a luxury, cotton was for common people. How would silk survive in an agricultural field?
 
Mar 2019
1,809
KL
This is some interesting info i got from here

One important luxury product was silk, which was imported and then processed in the Empire. In order to protect the manufacture of silk products, Justinian granted a monopoly to the imperial factories in 541.[102] In order to bypass the Persian land route, Justinian established friendly relations with the Abyssinians, whom he wanted to act as trade mediators by transporting Indian silk to the Empire; the Abyssinians, however, were unable to compete with the Persian merchants in India.[103] Then, in the early 550s, two monks succeeded in smuggling eggs of silk worms from Central Asia back to Constantinople,[104] and silk became an indigenous product.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,000
Australia
Secondly tussah silk is not in any way inferior to the chinese silk, its almost equal in quality, so again, that is only your assumption.
You may want to read this again. How can something be just as good if it is "almost equal"? If it is "almost equal" then it is inferior.
 
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Mar 2019
1,809
KL
You may want to read this again. How can something be just as good if it is "almost equal"? If it is "almost equal" then it is inferior.
im not an expert of silk quality, only trying to analyse the history of silk in india, it was assumed since silk making was ''tightly guarded chinese secret'' indians were only making silk from wild species. while it didn't make any sense that romans were trading silk from india rather than china. It was claimed that ''chinese cloth'' was ''silk'' in general which i now think is very dubious assertion and probably meant ''chinese variety of silk'' and not silk in general.

regards