India is home to silkworms that produce all five of the major commercial types of silk in the world: mulberry silk, tasar silk, oak tasar silk, eri silk and muga silk. Mulberry silk is the most prized and the most abundant, which is why the other four types are usually grouped together as non-mulberry silk.
Mulberry silk accounts for more than 90 percent of the total silk production in both India and the world. The worms that produce this silk are domesticated and usually raised in greenhouses, where they feed solely on mulberry bushes.
Although it is not as highly prized, tasar silk is another key industry in many regions of India, as is the higher quality oak tasar silk. However, this type of silkworm is somewhat rare in India, and as such, China is the world's largest producer of oak tasar silk.
Eri silk is predominantly used by tribes in northern India, however the silk is also sold commercially in some parts of the country. The final type of silk India produces is muga silk, which has a beautiful golden color and is very highly prized, due to the fact that the worms that produce it only exist in India's Assam region.