Eri silk is made in India by the Philosamia ricini silkworm. Eri silkworms are raised by villagers and fed castor leaves. When they have grown to full size, they spin a cocoon.
Unlike other types, where the worm is often boiled inside the cocoon, eri silkworms leave a hole in the cocoon to emerge from. It’s often known as peace silk for this reason. It’s particularly prized among Buddhists and vegans because it can be made without harming the animal.
It’s also considered the world’s most sustainable fabric. The worms hatch from eggs and spin their cocoon 50 days later. When the moth emerges from the cocoon, it lays eggs and flies away, continuing the cycle.
Eri silk fabric has a feel of cotton combined with the beauty of silk. Silk pieces are passed down within families, making them heirlooms. It’s said to get better over time, instead of becoming worn like other types of fabric.