The World's First Zero Waste Eri Silk Cocoon Beanie

As a company, we believe in making the most of resources. Nothing was more satisfying than seeing waste material from Eri silk cocoons being transformed into a cozy, soft, one of a kind beanie. See the image of the very first one made. Don’t you wish you could reach into the image, pick up the beanie, run your fingers on it to feel the texture, and even wear it? Here’s a short story behind how this one-of-a-kind beanie got to be.

First Zero Waste Eri Silk Beanie in the World - By Muezart
The First Zero Waste Eri Silk Beanie
Ridapynhunlang Pasi (Rida for short) a member of the Muezart Maker Team, had been trained in processing Eri silk cocoons. The village women from Mawlong came to the Muezart studio and Rida, along with others, had been trained in this natural hand-processing technique.
Rida learned how to hand process Eri silk cocoons.
We invited the Mawlong Village women to the Muezart Studio in
Shillong to train our team in cocoon processing.

After the training Rida became one of the team members responsible for processing cocoons. One day, she was observing her team members spinning when she saw a bunch of cocoons left behind – small parts of the cocoon and even whole cocoons. She noticed that they were going to be discarded as they were considered waste. 

Rida knew that all the Muezart cocoons had been well processed. She couldn’t imagine disposing of this 100% silk. She realized the only reason the silk was going to waste was that it wasn’t easy to spin directly from the hand-processed cocoon cakes. The hardened knots on the cocoon cakes disrupted the speed and ease of spinning.

“Will I be able to use this ‘waste’ part of the cocoon in some way" thought Rida. Nothing is lost in trying. She decided to take the waste cocoon fiber and mix it with a little Eri silk roving. The blend was appealing! She then dyed the blend using Turmeric and Sohiong (a cherry-like fruit). In fact, here to she tried to not waste resources – and reused the dye bath that had been used to dye a large quantity of Eri silk yarn skeins. Once the waste cocoons and fiber had been dyed, she left it to dry. Next, she carded the blend of dyed cocoons and roving fiber.

Hand Knitting the Zero Waste Beanie - MuezartMuezart Studio: Rida hand knits using her handloom knittin machine. 

What she discovered thrilled her. While spinning yarn from the blend, using Muezart’s Ashford spinning wheel, she noticed how soft this waste cocoon felt. She couldn’t wait to knit a hat to see what the finished product would feel and look like. Voila – she got a reasonable amount of yarn to knit a cap, a beanie, with. Not wanting to wait she got busy on her handloom knitting machine.

Rida holding the first zero waste beanie - MuezartRida holding her first Zero Waste Eri Silk Cocoon Beanie

What you see is the end result. Does it not look unique and like nothing you can get off the shelf? Remember, it was totally hand-made – right from spinning the yarn, to dyeing, to knitting! And it has waste cocoon in its body, and dyed with 100% natural plant-based ingredients. The finished product is really soft and has got a one of a kind look. 

What else does this Eri silk Beanie have?

  • It has Zero itch.
  • It keeps you as warm as wool.
  • It's lightweight. You will forget you have this soft hat on your head.
  • Its unique fiber property keeps your head cool while wearing indoors. 
  • Try it to believe it.

What Rida did was very innovative. We believe this is a FIRST. Not only the first Eri silk beanie but definitely it is the first slow-made zero waste beanie in the world.

Our friends who are not familiar with the 4 different types of commercial silk, will be surprised that a beanie can be made with 100% silk and at the same time have the warmth of wool.

The Zero Waste Beanie is such a hit! It will soon be launched in our Muezart Accessories Collection.

It Takes a Team of Muezart Makers to Create Beanies

handspun eri silk yarnRida made this ball of yarn from waste cocoons and naturally dyed with plants.

 

collecting wild saphire berries for natural dyes        collecting wild berries for natural dye - Muezart
Rida and Baphi collecting wild sapphire berries to dye the next beanie color. 

Muezart is innovating. Imagine what more will happen over the next one year.


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