GUWAHATI, Nov 18 � In Sualkuchi, the general perception is that a section of the showroom owners is responsible for the mixing of muga fabric with tasar yarn. This is also believed by the general Sualkuchi people that this section of the showroom owners is also selling mulberry silk items produced in Islampur and Mobarakpur of Uttar Pradesh with the plagiarised Sualkuchi decorative patterns as genuine Sualkuchi products.
Mixing of muga fabric and plagiarisation of the Sualkuchi designs have defamed the Sualkuchi silk industry. The whole of Sualkuchi is blamed by the people of other parts of the State for these unscrupulous practices, even though the practices are limited to a section of showroom owners.
As far as mixing of muga fabric with cheaper tasar is concerned, some showroom owners use its money power to influence the poor individual weavers. These weavers are dependent on this section of showroom owners for their survival. This is the view offered by Hiralal Kalita, one of the four general secretaries of Sualkuchi Tantshilpa Unnayan Samiti, on the above phenomenon.
The practice was started by a rich showroom owner about 15 years back. Inspired by him, some other showroom owners started pressurising the poor individual weavers to produce tasar-muga mixed clothes in lots. These showroom owners have been selling such products as pure muga fabric.
To tackle such nefarious practices, the youths of Sualkuchi have by this time developed a simple technique to detect tasar adulteration of muga fabric.
Innovator of the pirn winding machine Sarat Deka told this correspondent that if the piece of cloth suspected to be adulterated with tasar is boiled in a mixture of washing soda and washing soap (dhela/khar chabon to be precise) for about ten minutes, the tasar yarn in the piece of cloth will turn pale. But, the muga yarn of the fabric will retain its bright golden colour, Deka said.