Animal rights group gives royal couple "cruelty-free silk" gift

Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:31am EDT
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NEW DELHI (Reuters Life!) - An Indian animal rights group hopes their wedding gift to Kate Middleton and Prince William, a set of traditional wedding garments made of artificial silk, will help raise awareness of how cruel traditional versions of the fabric can be.

The future King of England and his bride-to-be have been sent a faux-silk sari and sherwani patterned jacket, worn by couples in traditional Indian weddings, by the Indian branch of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the group said on Monday.

"We hope Kate and William enjoy our cruelty-free gift as a symbol of compassion and love for each other and all creatures on their special day," said Poorva Joshipura, Chief Functionary of PETA India.

Around 1,500 silkworms are killed to produce 100 grams of silk, used in many traditional garments in India, the world's biggest consumer and second-largest producer of the fabric after China, a PETA release said.

Artificial silk is made from a blend of polyester, rayon and other man-made fibers. The traditional use of silkworms to make silk garments was criticized by Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Prince William, second in line to the throne, will marry University sweetheart Middleton in a ceremony on Friday that experts say could be watched by 2 billion people worldwide.

(Reporting by Henry Foy, editing by Elaine Lies)