The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by silkworms larvae to form cocoons. Silkworm is a stage of the silk moth’s life cycle. The bulk of the world’s silk needs Bombyx mori silk moth. Farmers raise moths under strict control. Silk worm begins life as an egg, and then it becomes a silk worm, pupa and, finally, a moth. Silkworm secretes a protein-like substance through its head to form the cocoon when it ready to become a pupa. Although some silkworms are allowed to become moths to propagate the species, most of them are harvested in this stage to be used in silk production. You can also collect the cocoons of wild silkworms, but this is less common.
Farmers deliver the cocoons to filatures (special factories), and here cocoons are turned into silk threads through a four-step process. First, cocoons are stored by color, size, shape and texture. Second, soften the silk gum holding the cocoon’s filaments together by alternating hot and cold immersions. Next, silk filaments are unwound, and several strands are reeled together in lengths of 300 to 600 meters, or approximately 984 to 1,968 feet because individual filaments are too fine for commercial production. Finally, the reeled filament will be wound into skeins, which are bundled into bales and shipped to silk mills, and weave them into fabric using hand or power looms at here.
Types of Fabric
Although there are many types of silk around the world, only eight types of silk (such as charmeuse, China silk, crepe de Chine, Doupioni, noil, raw silk, shantung and tussah) familiar to western clothiers. Here, we will show you some silks. When it comes to silk, most people will think of Charmeuse. The front of the fabric has shimmery satin weave while the back is flattened crepe, or simply wrinkled woven fabric. China silk, also called “plain silk,” is the least expensive of the silks, and is lightweight and shiny. Crepe de Chine is made by twisting some fibers clockwise and others counterclockwise before weaving, producing a fabric with a pebbly texture and the fabric is lightweight and does not ravel easily like other silks. However, this fabric tears easily.
Also available in: French