Rethinking silk's origins

Published online 17 February 2009 | Nature | doi:10.1038/457945a

Did the Indian subcontinent start spinning without Chinese know-how?

Philip Ball

Ancient silk strands have been found in artefacts from Pakistan’s Indus valley.I. Good

New findings suggest that silk making was not an exclusively Chinese technological innovation, but instead arose independently on the Indian subcontinent.

Ornaments from the Indus valley in east Pakistan, where the Harappan culture flourished more than 4,000 years ago, seem to contain silk spun by silk moths native to the region. What's more, the silk seems to have been processed in a way previously thought to have been a closely guarded secret within China.

There is hard and fast evidence for silk production in China back to around 2570 BC; the newly discovered objects are believed to date from between 2450 BC and 2000 BC, making them similarly ancient. There have been no previous finds of manufactured silk at sites outside China before about 1500 BC.

"This is the first evidence for silk anywhere out of China at such an early date," says Irene Good of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the authors of the study. "It was a complete surprise."

The objects come from two sites in the Indus valley: the city of Harappa itself, the hub of the Indus civilization, and Chanhu-daro in Sindh province, about 500 kilometres to the south. They were collected from archaeological excavations in 1999 and 2000 conducted by the Harappa Archaeological Research Project (HARP), a US–Pakistan collaboration. Because of the sheer volume of artefacts amassed so far, they have only recently been studied in detail.

Good, working with HARP directors Richard Meadow of Harvard University and Jonathan Kenoyer of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, used an electron microscope to look at the fine structure of silk strands found in necklaces and bangles.

The precise shape of the individual silk threads — determined by the shape of the orifice through which they are extruded — is characteristic of the species of silk moth that produced the strands.

In a paper in the journal Archaeometry, the researchers show that the Harappa samples — two metal ornaments — contain silk from species of Antheraea moths indigenous to south Asia (I. L. Good, J. M. Kenoyer and R. H. Meadow Archaeometry doi:10.1111/j.1475-4754.2008.00454.x; 2009). The origin of the Chanhu-daro silk, threaded through soapstone beads, is less clear, but it may be from one of the same species. Chinese silk comes from the domesticated silk moth Bombyx mori.

The Harappan silks seem to have been made by a process called reeling, in which the strands are collected on a bobbin rather than being twisted in short segments into a thread. The researchers say that reeling was thought to have been part of a silk technology known only to China until the early centuries AD. Now it seems that knowledge was not so exclusive.

"Archaeology in early China is showing increasingly there were connections outside China," says Shelagh Vainker, a silk expert at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, UK. "It doesn't seem unreasonable." But she sees evidence for silk production in China "significantly earlier" than 2500–2000 BC, which would suggest China could still claim priority.

"I believe that the people of the Indus civilization either harvested silkworm cocoons or traded with people who did, and that they knew a considerable amount about silk," says Good. She does, however, acknowledge that some might find this challenging: "National pride is at stake with such a discovery as this.

New evidence for early silk in the Indus civilization – IL Good, JM Kenoyer, RH Meadow (2009)

The pieces of evidence for  silk in Harappa and Chanhudaro are from threads to connect beads or bangle  fragments.

Fig. 3 Copper or copper-alloy wire ornament from Harappa c. 2200 BCE revealing intact thread. Photograph by JM Kenoyer.

Fig. 6 Steatite (enstatite) microbead from Chanhu-daro showing slightly 'S' twisted single-ply thread. Photomicrograph by I. Good and R. Newman

[Note BC has been changed to BCE; AD has been changed to CE] Silk is an important economic fibre, and is generally considered to have been the exclusive cultural heritage of China. Silk weaving is evident from the Shang period c.1600–1045BCE though the earliest evidence for silk textiles in ancient China may date to as much as a millennium earlier. Recent microscopic analysis of archaeological thread fragments found inside copper-alloy ornaments from Harappa and steatite beads from Chanhu-daro, twoimportant Indus sites, have yielded silk fibres, dating toc.2450–2000BCE. This study offers the earliest evidence in the world for any silk outside China, and is roughlycontemporaneous with the earliest Chinese evidence for silk. This important new finding brings into question the traditional historical notion of sericulture as being an exclusivelyChinese invention.


The Indus Civilization, c. 2800–1900 bce, was one of the great urban riverine civilizations of the ancient world. Current understanding of this cultural phenomenon is that it emerged out of earlier diverse, regional cultures that interacted with each other economically and socially. Settlements of the Indus Civilization spread over a vast area, centred on the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra river systems of Pakistan and northern India. From the Himalaya and Hindu Kush to the coastal regions of Kutch and Gujarat, westward into Baluchistan and eastward into northwestern India, sites identified with the Indus Civilization are distributed across an area larger than that of Mesopotamia or of Egypt. Harappa, a settlement near the river Ravi in what is now Punjab Province of Pakistan, was the first of the Indus cities to be discovered (Vats 1940). For more than a century excavations have been carried out in the eponymous city (for a recent overview, see Possehl 2002; see also Kenoyer 1998). The florescence of the Indus culture (2600–1900 bce) is sometimes

designatedMature Harappa . More than a few enigmas concerning the Indus Civilization still vex archaeologists, not least of which is the lack of substantive evidence for reciprocal exchange of commodities with Mesopotamia, where Indus-produced luxury materials such as etched and long biconical carnelian beads were found in the Early Dynastic III period royal graves at Ur (Zettler and Horne 1998).

Recent work at Harappa (e.g., Meadow and Kenoyer 2005, 2008) has been carried out by the Harappa Archaeological Research Project (HARP), directed by Richard H. Meadow (Harvard University), Jonathan Mark Kenoyer (University of Wisconsin at Madison), and Rita P. Wright (New York University) in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and Museums of the Government of Pakistan. A new study of artefacts recovered from the 1999 and 2000 seasons at the site has revealed the presence of silk. The silk is not degummed but contains sericin-coated twinned brins, or filaments, of fibroin.

Micromorphological study indicates that the silk derived from wild silkmoth species rather than Bombyx mori . To assess the culture-historical significance of these new silk finds we take into account several wild

silkmoth species known to South Asia, understanding that the real nature and extent of sericulture in antiquity is at present unknown. It has been assumed that the wild ancestor to the Chinese silkmoth,

Bombyx mandarina (Moore) was domesticated into the well-known (and only domesticated) insect

B. mori in China (Kuhn 1982; Chang 1986), although B. mandarina (Moore) is also native to South Asia. The earliest evidence to date for silk in China comes from an isolated find possibly as early as c. 2570

Bce from the Liangzhou Neolithic site of Qianshanyang (Zhou 1980; see also Vainker 2004; Good, forthcoming). There is evidence for silk from a bead thread at Nevasa in peninsular India c. 1500 bce

(Gulati 1961; see also Good 1995; Janaway and Coningham 1995). This new evidence of silk from both the recent excavations at the site of Harappa and from the Chanhu-daro collection curated at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, indicates that silk threads were being produced nearly a millennium earlier than the Nevasa finds, and were being used in more than one Indus settlement during the height of Indus urbanism. This new discovery of silk in the Indus Valley pushes back the earliest date of silk outside of China by a millennium and is roughly contemporaneous with the earliest evidence for silk from within China.

Not only has early evidence for silk been assumed to be limited to China, but the techniques of degumming and reeling have also been considered exclusive Chinese silk industry ‘secrets’. The process of degumming is one in which the sericin gum is removed from the silk, by submerging the cocoons into a weak alkaline solution. Reeling silk is a process by which the long silk strands (gummed or not) are collected on to a bobbin rather than needing to be twisted as short segments into a spun thread. These two important silkworking processes have been thought to be part of a ‘package’ of Chinese technology known only to China until well into the early centuries ce, although the evidence presented here indicates that wild

Antheraea silks were also known and used in the Indus area as early as the mid-third millennium

bce, and that reeling was practised. The implication of evidence for silk reeling is that the silkmoth was stifled, leaving the cocoon intact in order to be unravelled. When wild silk cocoons are collected on the ground, usually after the silkmoth has eaten its way out, the remaining silk fibres must be spun rather than reeled, as they are short. Specific contributions of the present paper include discussion of new silk finds from Harappa and Chanhu-daro along with SEM imaging of modern wild specimens of Antheraea assamensis and A. mylitta silk…



In the course of excavations on Mound E at Harappa in 1999, a hollow copper or copper-alloy bangle fragment (H1999/8863-2) was recovered from domestic debris that dates to Period 3C (c. 2200–1900 cal

bce). Preserved fibre forming a thread was found inside the hollow portion of the bangle. The thread samples removed comprise two fragments: one was recovered in disintegrated condition (designated ‘A’) and the other still retained some thread structure (‘B’). These two samples are of the same thread, and are composed uniformly of the same type of fibre. Partial mineralization and fibre disintegration hampered a simple and straightforward identification of thread sample H99/8863-2. The thread itself is a slightly ‘S’ twisted (at about10°), two-plied thread with approximately 60–75 ‘Z’-spun strands in each ply.

Scanning electron micrographic survey at high resolution (1000 magnification and above) of various sites on both sample fragments ‘A’ and ‘B’ allowed morphological determination of fibres to be silk, and further determination of silk from the A. assamensis species (see Table 1 and Figs 1 and 2).

A second thread sample from Harappa (H2000/2242-1 lab 2000–1955) was recovered in the 2000 field season. It was found preserved inside a coiled wire ornament made of native copper or of a copper-alloy that was recovered from debris on the floor of a structure dating to late Period 3A or early Period 3B (c. 2450 cal bce). The ornament appears to be some sort of necklace made up of two strands of coiled wire strung with silk thread. This sample is also of a wild Antheraea silk, but appears to be from a different species, A. mylitta , as it has a distinctive striated fibre (Figs 3–5). The particular morphological characteristics of each type of silk are due to the unique shape of the silkworm’s orifice when ejecting fibroin during cocooning. In this case, striations are characteristic of A. mylitta silk. These two species are indigenous to South Asia. A. assamensis is found in the high altitudes of the northeastern subcontinent,

And A. mylitta is found along the tropical west coastal region. However, both regions are at a considerable distance from the Indus Valley…


Chanhu-daro is another significant site of the Indus Civilization, located on the west bank of the river Indus in what is now Sindh province of Pakistan. Chanhu-daro was excavated in the winter of 1935–36 by the first American Archaeological Expedition to India directed by Ernest Mackay and sponsored by of the American Oriental Society and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (Mackay 1943). A recent survey of excavated small finds (principally copper or copperalloy artefacts such as razors and bowls) currently in the Boston MFA collections revealed several objects with either textile ‘pseudomorph’ or actual extant textile adhering to surfaces of objects. One object, a heat-fused cluster of microbeads made of enstatite (heated magnesium silicate, perhaps in the form of steatite) found inside a copper or copper-alloy bowl, had been

published in Mackay’s report (plate LXXIV, object 2391). The microbeads contained therein (object 2391B) were noted to include intact thread remains (see Figs 6 and 7). The object dates somewhere between 2450 and 2000 bce . Microbead and thread samples from this object from Chanhu-daro were removed and analysed. The thread consists of a single ply of approximately 40–50 strands, with a slight ‘S’

twist (approximately 12–15°). Fibres from the thread were studied under SEM at 20 kVwithout sputtercoating. They appear partially gummed and partially twinned, characteristic of a reeled (but not degummed) silk. It is not certain at this stage of research from which species of silkmoth these fibres derived. The fibres may be from A. assamensis or possibly from a species of Philosamia (Eri silk)…


The formal exportation of silk from China took place around 119–115 bce during the reign of Han Emperor Wu-ti, who sought the fabulous blood-sweating ‘celestial horses’ of Ferghana (in modern day Uzbekistan). Yet archaeologists have puzzled over the early presence of silk in a late prehistoric Celtic site in Germany

C . 700 bce , as well as silk finds from several other sites in Europe, the Mediterranean, Egypt and Central Asia (see, for example, Richter 1929; Hundt 1971; Askarov 1973; Wild 1984; Braun 1987; Lubec et al.

1993). For decades, archaeologists have cited these findings as evidence for early contact between China and the West (for full discussion see Good 1995; see also Good in press). What has not been adequately considered in the literature, however, is the possibility that a non-Chinese (and de facto wild) species of silkworm that produced workable silk was known and used in antiquity, and that the rare instances of silk that have been discovered far outside of China, and that date to before Wu-ti’s trade relationship with the West began, may have, in fact, been produced indigenously or imported from regions other than China. The evidence presented here now suggests that early sericulture did in fact exist in South Asia and was roughly contemporaneous with the earliest known silk use in China.


This research offers new insight on the extent and antiquity of sericulture. Specifically, these finds indicate the use of wild indigenous silkmoth species in South Asia as early as the mid-third millennium bce. Careful morphological study of highly degraded fibres through images derived from scanning electron microscopy allows subtle but distinct and diagnostic features of fibre surface and fibre shaft morphology to aid in moth species identification. At least two separate types of silk were utilized in the Indus in the mid-third  millennium bce.

Based on SEM image analysis there are two thread forms in the samples from Harappa, which appear to be from two different species of silkmoth (Antheraeasp.). The silk from Chanhudaro may be from yet another South Asian moth species Philosamia spp. (Eri silk). Moreover, this silk appears to have been reeled. The variety in type, technology and thread forms of these few rare examples of silk offers us a glimpse into the extent of knowledge about sericulture in the Indus Civilization during the Mature Harappan phase. This knowledge helps to explain other early instances of silk in Eurasia outside of China, specifically from the mid-second millennium bc Deccan Peninsula of India (Gulati 1961) and contemporaneously in Bactria (Askarov 1973). By careful analysis of archaeological silk fibre surface morphology, one can distinguish between the source silkworm species. Through this type of study we can also begin to better understand the origins of silk use further to the East. The discoveries described here demonstrate that silk was being used over a wide region of South Asia for more than 2000 years before the introduction of domesticated silk from China. Earlier models that attribute the origins of silk and sericulture exclusively to China need to be re-examined and revised.


Ages employed in this article for Harappa and Indus Civilization sites are based on calibrated radiocarbon dates, of which more than 100 come from Harappa. Other dates are those current in the literature…

Meadow and Kenoyer excavated the Harappa materials and identified samples with threads. Kenoyer conducted preliminary analyses on Harappa threads (the results of which are referred to in Kenoyer 2003, 2004). Meadow and Kenoyer provided Harappa samples to Good, who analysed and identified the threads both from Harappa and from Chanhu-daro. Good wrote the article, with contributions on Indus archaeology from Kenoyer and Meadow, and produced the images and figures, except Figures 3 and 4.

[Source: Good, I.L., JM Kenoyer and RH Meadow, 2009, New evidence for early silk in the Indus civilization, Archaeometry, 50,00 (2009), Univ. of Oxford]

 Some glosses related to silk:

Sa. luman `silk'.
Mu. lumam
  ~ lumaG `silk'.  !sic; recte luman??
KW luman


DEDR 2648 Ta. cuku end of cloth left hanging out in dressing, pleat or fold of garment, silken tassel used in plaiting girls' hair (< Te.). Ka. cugu, jugu end of a turban sticking out, a small part torn and hanging to the thing, a dangling tatter. Te. cugulu the end(s) of a garment; (B.) cugu a skirt, the end of a cloth. Kol. (SR.) juŋe cloth; (Kin.) juŋne dhoti.


DEDR 3285 Ta. tukil, tuyil fine cloth, rich attire. Ma. tukil, tuyil cloth, dress. Ka. dukula, dugula, dukūla woven silk, very fine cloth or raiment. / Cf. Skt. dukūla- (whence Ka. dukūla-, etc.); Turner, CDIAL, no. 6389. துகூலம் tukūlam , n. < dukūla. 1. White silk; வெண்பட்டு. 2. Thin cloth; நொய்யபுடைவை.


DEDR 4462 Kur. pokl cocoon, silk. Malt. poklu tassur silk; pokl-owa cocoon (owa anything hollow, as the shell of an egg).


DEDR 4654 Ta. mai ceremonial purity, as of one who has bathed; cloth made of fibre of trees, coarse silk, cotton, etc., as ceremonially pure. Ka. mai cleanness, purity; a washed, clean cloth; maiva, maivaḷḷa, maivāi washer- man; fem. maivāi, maivāagitti. Ko. mai ritual purity; mai baṭṭe clean clothes; (Shanmugam) maivāë washerman; fem. maivāati. Tu. mai a newly washed cloth, bleached cloth, a garment of bark, silk or wool worn by brahmans and other high-caste people during meals or any ceremony; maḍḍele, mayele washerman. Te. mai, ma&utilde;gu purity, state of being unpolluted; a pure or unpolluted cloth; maivālu, mai- vēlu washerman; fem. maiyālu. / Cf. Jaina Skt. maḍḍi- a whole piece of cloth (?; B. J. Sandesara and J. P. Thaker, Lexical Studies in Jaina Sanskrit, p. 176).


CDIAL 3539 kṓśa— m. ‘bucket’ RV., ‘case, cover’ AV., ‘sheath’ MBh., ‘storeroom’ Mn., ‘seed—vessel’ R., ‘inner part of breadfruit’ lex., °aka— m. MārkP. [Cf. *khōsa—] Pa. kōsa— m.n. ‘box, sheath, storeroom, cocoon, praeputium’; Or. kosa ‘seed vessel of jackfruit’, °sāsilkworm cocoon’; G. kuśeɔ, °śīɔ m. ‘silkworm cocoon’; M. kośeā m., °ī f. ‘fine pellicle round the stone of a fruit’; — M. koslā m. ‘cocoon’; — M. kośerā ‘dry scab of a wound, cocoon’.


CDIAL 3755 káuma— ‘prepared from linseed’ Suśr., ‘made of linen’ Lāy., n. ‘linseed’ Suśr., ‘linen cloth’ KātyŚr., kaumika— ‘made of linen’. [kumā—] Pa. khōma— ‘made of flax’, n. ‘linen cloth or garment’, Pk. khōma—, °aga— ‘made of flax’, n. ‘linen or cotton or silk cloth’, khōmiya— ‘made of flax or cotton or silk’; MB. khuñā, B. khũye ‘a coarse sort of silk’; Si. komu ‘fine cloth of goat's hair’.


CDIAL 3924 *kheśśa— ‘a partic. sort of cloth’. K. kheś m. ‘a kind of silk cloth worn by women as a girdle’; S. khesu m. ‘thick cotton cloth’; L. khes m. ‘thick cotton shawl with coloured border’; P. khes m. ‘a kind of cloth’, °sī f. ‘small shawl’; N. khes ‘a partic. kind of cloth made in Bhadgaon’; B. kheś ‘a woollen wrapper’; H. khes, °sā m. ‘a figured cloth’; G. khes m., °siyũ n. ‘a cloth loosely worn over the shoulders’; M. khẽs n.m. ‘a partic. kind of cloth (cotton, wool, or silk)’. — Gy. germ. kešsilk, silk threads’ W.P. Schmid IF lxvi 143.


CDIAL 5744 tásara— n. ‘shuttle’ RV., ‘cloth in loom’, tasarikā— f. ‘weaving’ Divyāv. (‘little shuttle’ BHS ii 250), trasara— m. ‘shuttle’ Bālar. [√taṁs] Pa. tasara— n. ‘shuttle’; H. tasar, asar m. ‘coarse silk produced by the caterpillar Bombyx paphia’ (→ P. asar m. ‘a coarse silk’, S. tasari f. ‘silk of B. paphia’); M. tasar f. ‘the moth B. paphia, coarse silk’. Addenda: tásara—: Md. tēri ‘cotton reel, shuttle’.


CDIAL 7589 nētra— 4 n. ‘veil’ R., ‘a kind of cloth’ lex. A. ne ‘a kind of fine silk cloth’; B. net ‘a kind of fine cloth’; Or. neta ‘a kind of thin silk, banner’. Addenda: nētra— 4 ‘a kind of cloth’. [< IE. (s)— ‘to spin, weave’, IA. *nāitra— Burrow Shwa 17] நேத்திரம் nēttiram :  nēttiram , n. < nētra. 1. Eye; கண். (திவா.) 2. Peacock-eye; மயிற்பீலிக்கண். சுருள்பங்கி நேத்திரத்தா லணிந்து (திவ். பெரியாழ். 3, 4, 5). 3. Silk cloth; பட்டாடை. (திவா.) காம்பி னொடு நேத்திரங்கள் பணித்தருள வேண்டும் (தேவா. 676, 2).


CDIAL 7700 paṭṭa— 2 m. ‘cloth, woven silk’ Kāv., ‘bandage, fillet turban, diadem’ MBh. [Prob. like paa— and *phēṭṭa—1 from non—Aryan source, of which *patta— in Gy. and *patra— in Sh. may represent aryanization of paṭṭa—. Not < páttra— nor, with P. Tedesco Archaeologica Orientalia in Memoriam Ernst Herzfeld 222, < *pr̥ṣṭa- ‘woven’, while an assumed borrowing from IA. in Bur. ph *l lto—či ‘puttees’ is too flimsy a basis for *palta— (~ Eng. fold, &c.) as the source NTS xiii 93] Pa. paṭṭa— m. ‘woven silk, fine cloth, cotton cloth, turban’, °aka— ‘made of a strip of cloth’, n. ‘bandage, girdle’, °ikā— f.; NiDoc. paa ‘roll of silk’ Lüders Textilien 24; Pk. paṭṭa— m. ‘cloth, clothes, turban’; Paš. paā ‘strip of skin’, ar. weg. paı̄́ ‘belt’; Kal.rumb. pā́i ‘scarf’; Phal. paṭṭaa ‘bark’; K. pah, dat. °as m. ‘long strip of cloth from loom’, pou m. ‘woollen cloth’, u m. ‘silk, silk cloth’ (← Ind.?); S. paū m. ‘silk’, paū̃ m. ‘a kind of woollen cloth’, pao m. ‘band of cloth’, °ī f. ‘bandage, fillet’; L. paṭṭ m. ‘silk’, awā. paṭṭī f. ‘woollen cloth’; P. paṭṭ m. ‘silk’, paṭṭī f. ‘coarse woollen cloth, bandage’; WPah.bhal. p e ṭṭu m. sg. and pl. ‘woman's woollen gown’; Ku. silk’; N. ‘flax, hemp’; A. B. silk’ (B. also ‘jute’); Or. asilk, jute’, paā ‘red silk cloth, sheet, scarf’, (Bastar) ā ‘loincloth’; Bhoj. pa ‘jute’; OAw. a m. ‘silk cloth’; H. pa m. ‘cloth, turban’, paṭṭū m. ‘coarse woollen cloth’, paṭṭī f. ‘strip of cloth’, pa m. ‘loin- cloth’; G. m. ‘strip of cloth’, °ɔ m. ‘bandage’, °ī f. ‘tape’; Ko. ṭṭo ‘strap’; Si. paasilk, fine cloth’, paiya ‘ribbon, girdle, cloth screen round a tent’. — Gy. rum. pato ‘clothing’, gr. patavo ‘napkin’, wel. patavō ‘sock’, germ. phārsilk, taffeta’ பட்டு² paṭṭu , n. cf. paṭṭa. [T. M. paṭṭu, K. paṭṭe.] 1. Silk cloth, woven silk; பட்டாடை. (பிங்.) பட்டிசைந்த வல்குலாள் பாவையாள் (தேவா. 863, 2). 2. Silk yarn; பட்டுப்பூச்சியால் உண்டாம் நூல்.


CDIAL 10944 lapsuda— n. ‘goat's beard’ KātyŚ [lapsudín- ‘bearded (of goats)’ TS.] P. lacchā m. ‘several skeins of cotton joined to- gether’; N. lāchā ‘tassel of sheep's wool plaited into a woman's hair’; H. lacchā m. ‘necklace of silk or beads, bundle or skein of silk’; G. lāchɔ m. ‘skein of silk’: very doubtful. Addenda: lapsuda—: WPah.poet. laċċhi f. ‘bundle of cotton’.


CDIAL 14109 híra— m. ‘band, strip’ ŚBr. [Cf. hirā́—] A. hir ‘filament of a boiled silk cocoon coming out during spinning’; H. hīr m. ‘fibre of certain kinds of wood, the blea or part immediately under bark of a tree’; M. hīr m. ‘rib of a leaf, fibre of certain kinds of wood (= hirkā m.)’.


CDIAL 6883 *dhauta— 1 ‘cloth, thread’, dhautaka— ‘made of bleached silk’ Pat., dhautakaa— m. ‘bag of coarse cloth’ lex. [Perh. same as dhautá—2: see also *dhōtta—] WPah.bhal. dhou m. ‘thread (wool or cotton)’? (கம்பரந். 21).

ஈர்க்குக்கம்பி īrkku-k-kampi

, n. < ஈர்க்கு +. Narrow stripe in the border of a silk or cotton fabric; ஆடையின் சன்னக்கரை.

கின்காப்பு ki-kāppu

, n. < U. kan-khawāb. Silk or satin worked with gold or silver flowers, brocade, kincob; ஒருவகைப் பட்டுச்சீலை.

குத்தினி kuttii , n. < U. khutnī. [Mhr. khutanī.] A kind of striped silk; ஒருவகைப் பட்டுச்சீலை. (W.) குத்துனி kuttui , n. < Mhr. khutanī. A cloth woven with a silk warp and cotton woof; பட்டுக்கலந்த துணிவகை. (G. Tj. D. 118.)


சுண்ணம் cuṇṇam : (தொல். சொல். 406.) 8. A stanza of four lines set to music, one of four col-vakai; சொல்வகை நான்க னுள் நான்கடியான் வரும் இசைப்பாட்டு. (சிலப். 3, 12, பக். 88.) 9. A variety of silk; பட்டுவகை. (சிலப். 14, 108, உரை.)


தகடி¹ takai

, n. < id. [T. tagai.] Gold-embroidered silk; பீதாம்பரம். Loc.


CDIAL 6283 dā́man— 1 ‘rope’ RV. 2. *dāmana—, dāmanī— f. ‘long rope to which calves are tethered’ Hariv. 3. *dāmara—. [*dāmara— is der. fr. n/r n. stem. — √ 2] 1. Pa. dāma—, inst. °mēna n. ‘rope, fetter, garland’, Pk. dāma— n.; Wg. dām ‘rope, thread, bandage’; Tir. dām ‘rope’; Paš.lau. dām ‘thick thread’, gul. dūm ‘net snare’ (IIFL iii 3, 54 ← Ind. or Pers.); Shum. dām ‘rope’; Sh.gil. (Lor.) dōmo ‘twine, short bit of goat's hair cord’, gur. dōm m. ‘thread’ (→ . ‘thread’); K. gu—dômu m. ‘cow's tethering rope’; P. dā̃u, dāvā̃ m. ‘hobble for a horse’; WPah.bhad. daũ n. ‘rope to tie cattle’, bhal. daõ; m., jaun. dā̃w; A. dāmā ‘peg to tie a buffalo—calf to’; B. dām, dāmā ‘cord’; Or. duā̃ ‘tether’, dāı̃ ‘long tether to which many beasts are tied’; H. dām m.f. ‘rope, string, fetter’, dāmā m. ‘id., garland’; G. dām n. ‘tether’, M. dāvẽ n.; Si. dama ‘chain, rope’, (SigGr) dam ‘garland’. — Ext. in Paš.dar. damaā́, °ı̄́, nir. weg. damaék ‘rope’, Shum. amaik, Wo. damṓ m., Sv. dåmoı̄́; — with —ll—: N. dāmlo ‘tether for cow’, dā̃wali, dāũli, dāmli ‘bird—trap of string’, dā̃wal, dāmal ‘coeval’ (< ‘tied together’?); M. dā̃vlī f. ‘small tie—rope’. 2. Pk. dāvaa— n., dāmaī— f. ‘tethering rope’; S. ḍ̱āvau, ḍ̱āu m. ‘forefeet shackles’, ḍ̱āviī, ḍ̱āī f. ‘guard to support nose—ring’; L. ā̃va m., ā̃vaī, āuī (Ju. ḍ̱—) f. ‘hobble’, dāuī f. ‘strip at foot of bed, triple cord of silk worn by women on head’, awā. dāvu ‘picket rope’; P. dāu, dau, ludh. daun f. m. ‘string for bedstead, hobble for horse’, dāuī f. ‘gold ornament worn on woman's forehead’; Ku. dauo m., °ī f. ‘peg for tying cattle to’, gng. dɔ̃ ‘place for keeping cattle, bedding for cattle’; A. dan ‘long cord on which a net or screen is stretched, thong’, danā ‘bridle’; B. dāmni ‘rope’; Or. daaa ‘string at the fringe of a casting net on which pebbles are strung’, dāui ‘rope for tying bullocks together when threshing’; H. dāwan m. ‘girdle’, dāwanī f. ‘rope’, dā̃wanī f. ‘a woman's orna- ment’; G. dāma, ā° n. ‘tether, hobble’, dām n. ‘thin rope, string’, dāmī f. ‘rope, woman's head—orna- ment’; M. dāva f. ‘picket—rope’. — Words denoting the act of driving animals to tread out corn are poss. nomina actionis from *dāmayati 2. 3. L. ãvarāva, (Ju.) ḍ̱ā̃v° ‘to hobble’; A. dāmri ‘long rope for tying several buffalo—calves together’, Or. daü̃rā, daürā ‘rope’; Bi. daũrī ‘rope to which threshing bullocks are tied, the act of treading out the grain’, Mth. dā̃mar, daũra ‘rope to which the bullocks are tied’; H. dā̃wrī f. ‘id., rope, string’, dãwrī f. ‘the act of driving bullocks round to tread out the corn’. — X *dhāgga- q.v. *dāmayati2; *dāmakara—, *dāmadhāra—; uddāma—, prōddāma—; *antadāmanī—, *galadāman—, *galadā- mana—, *gōḍḍadāman—, *gōḍḍadāmana—, *gōḍḍadā- mara—. dāmán— 2 m. (f.?) ‘gift’ RV. [√ 1]. See dā́tu—. *dāmana— ‘rope’ see dā́man—1. Addenda: dā́man— 1. 1. Brj. dā̃u m. ‘tying’. 3. *dāmara—: Brj. dā̃wrī f. ‘rope’.