Silk is a natural, strong, stretchy fiber. It can be made into durable and beautiful cloth which can be dyed any color you want. And this fiber starts with threads. A silkworm uses to enclose himself in a cocoon where, and then he will go through metamorphosis to emerge as a moth in this cocoon. Most silk worms live on silk farms in Thailand, South Korea, Brazil and India. Hatch silkworms from their eggs, and then feed them on mulberry leaves above five weeks until they are ready to make a cocoon. To prevent thread splitting, most developing cocoons are heated to kill their pupa. However, to make ensure there will be enough silkworm eggs to produce enough thread in the next season, farmers will leave enough pupa to become moths.
How to Make Silk Thread
To make cocoons waterproof and hardened, silkworms use a glue-like substance called serine to cover the threads. Therefore, farmers have to remove the sericin before they can harvest the silk. Soak the cocoons in hot water until the serine dissolves. Through a channel, the tiny silk threads get pulled and wound up on a reel. Then, remove the thread from the reel, twist into stronger bunches, and send to the silk mill to be woven into cloth.
How to Weave Silk Fabric
Skeins get boiled in soapy water at the mill to get every tiny scrap of serine off. Next, twists several strands of silk thread together in the “throwing” process. Finally, dye the threads. After that, they can be strung on a loon and woven into silk cloth. Then made into different types of products: silk sheets, silk pillowcases, silk nighties…