Assam Silk Project

Date: 2000 –  2003

Principal Investigator: Lorna Bircham

Funded by: Chelsea College of Art and Design

The main objective of this project was to help promote the unique silk industry of the area of Assam, one of the seven North Eastern states of India, by finding a new export furnishing fabric/product market as well as to encourage a group of tribal weavers to become more financially independent.

The most perfect solution to the problem was to introduce a method of exhaust dyeing in which the dye is gradually transferred from the dye bath to the yarn in a repeat process until the remaining water is clear and pure. Having tested the method in the UK by a quality control analyst at Thames Water, the project was satisfied that there would be no toxic effects from the residual water. The dye method was then successfully piloted by the local village and a collection of samples were made.


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