KSSRDI brings you cosmetics straight from cocoon

That is not all, the institute is also working on inviting companies to showcase the technology to commercially launch the products in the market. 

Published: 06th May 2022 06:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th May 2022 06:20 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka, a leader in silk manufacturing and popular for its silk saris, is now working on  being number one to show that nothing is waste in silk — not even sericin, the protein which is extracted in the yarn and fibre stage, and discarded due to its unwanted effects on the quality of the textile.

Sericin, a protein created by Bombyx mori (silkworms) in the production of silk, is normally removed as it blocks penetration of chemicals into the fibres. This results in making fibres harsh and stiff. Therefore, removing sericin is an important step in getting get a proper material for textile.

But now, after a two-year-long study, researchers from Karnataka State Sericulture Research and Development Institute (KSSRDI) are set to launch 12 cosmetic products made from sericin — all organic, good for the skin and health. That is not all, the institute is also working on inviting companies to showcase the technology to commercially launch the products in the market. 

“People assume that sericulture is only about silk cocoons that end up in saris. But that is not true. A lot of by-products can be made and we have just done a portion of it. When a yarn is made into fabric, there is 32 per cent wastage. Of this, 25 per cent is sericin, which is very rich in protein and it can be mixed with other natural ingredients to make products,” Dr PG Radhakrishna, Director, KSSRDI, told The New Indian Express. 

Cultivation of mulberry rises in K’taka

The institute has created face serum, bath serum, night lotion, hair gel, antiaging cream, fairness cream, UV protection cream, heal guard, seri mitti, soaps and shampoos, body and hair moisturizer and wet wipes. The products have been tested for side-effects on the researchers and their family members. The Institute has patented the technology and is now moving ahead to get royalty for it. so that commercial units do not hamper the quality.

One kilogram of sericin costs Rs 15,000-Rs 30,000, while a silk sari costs Rs 5,000. So by bringing in more such products, farmers’ incomes can be doubled, the cost of sericin and silk sarees will be stabilised, and rural employment will increase, experts at the institute said. The Institute is working with National Rural Livelihood Mission to reach out to self-help groups to make products in the future, Radhakrishna said. The production of mulberry and cocoons is increasing in Karnataka.


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