Mulberry silk is the most common kind of silk in the world . It makes up 90% of the silk supply in the world. Mulberry Silk is produced by the silkworms which are fed from the mulberry leaves (hence its name). This article demonstrates the production process of silk.
Silkworms are a species of insect that were originally from China:
- Phylum – Anthropoda,
- Order – Lepidoptera,
- Family – Bombycidae,
- Genus – Bombyx,
- Species – B. mori.
Silkworms are in fact not worms at all, but caterpillars of the silk moth. After they complete their life-cycle, they produce cocoons which are used to make silk fabric. It takes approximately 3,000 cocoons to produce half a kilo of silk.
Silk is produced by an insect silkworm. It spins a thread out of material from its own body, and winds around itself, forming a cocoon. If the cocoon are not disturbed, in the ordinary life process of the silkworm a moth would come out. The moth would lay eggs and die, and the process would start over again.
In the production of silk, cocoons are put into very hot water, which kills the worm inside and loosens the fibers. The fibers we get are called raw silk, and cloth can be made directly from it.
1. Silkworms eggs
2. Larva (Catepillar) Stages
Once the worms start pupating in their cocoons, individual long fibres are extracted from cocoons and fed into the spinning reel to make silk threads, and then, various types of silk fabric.
If we leave the cocoons as they are, we should be able to see the final stage.