Muga is the rarest known wild silk in the world. The ones who has experienced pure Muga will never fail to identify pure from among the others, because that golden hue of Muga is incomparable to any other, giving it a distinct identity. It is rightly expressed as thread of gold by many poets of Assam, so I choose to call this shawl xün. When Muga is getting hand spun and woven, it is as if the whole house of mud walls begins to glisten like gold. I have seen the face of weavers glow too.
What is so magical about Muga? What makes it so revered as a silk? What makes it glow in its original sheen even after decades of use? What gives it that fragrance that goes beyond time?
Perhaps, the silkworms that make this silk are in tune with nature. In the wild, upon the trees, the silkworms in their quietness, make their cocoons. No noise. No dirt. No pollution. With only passerby birds as impended danger, their lifecycle with nature is intimate.
This intimacy perhaps keeps the secret of the ethereal nature of this silk.
With Muga being so special, I always find Ghicha of Muga to be a perfect companion with its textured surface. As smooth the Muga, that textured the Ghicha. This marriage of two is a delight to bind together revealing the under layers of many potentialities of Muga.
Spinners from Gogamukh of upper Assam hand spun this muga yarn. This region is known for its quality of Muga. So I decided to carry it in my back pack to Arunachal Pradesh so that Tai Khampti tribe weavers could interweave some magic with their weaving skills.
This delightful combination of Muga, Muga Ghicha and weaves from Tai Khampti tribe forms one end of the shawl.
The other end that binds this subtlety is Eri Silk, lac dyed, hand spun without charkha, and hand woven on throw shuttle loom of Assam.
To a collector’s heart this shawl is beyond time and age. It is Gold! It is Xün!