>
Sew and So

Silkworms

Silk has always had a romantic appeal. Silk production was a closely guarded secret, developed by the Chinese about 4000 years ago. The silk fiber is triangular, giving it unique light reflecting properties. Silk fiber is stronger than steel, yet can be spun and woven into the most delicate of fabrics.

The silkworm starts its life as a pin-head sized egg. Eggs are place on a fine mesh tray, covered with choppedy mulberry leaves The grubs emerge in about two weeks and then feed voraciously. They shed their skins as they grow.

Each shedding is called an instar.
Life of the Bombyx shows images of the growth of the silk worm.

When the larvae is about 4 inches in length, it stops feeding and is ready to pupate and to spin its cocoon. A silk worm can spin a thread more than two miles long.

After the cocoon is complete and the pupa is removed, the fibers are slowly opened. The long filaments are drawn out from the edge into a roving that can be spun. Silk is processed in reeling and twisting factories.

Raising Silk Worms
How to raise silk worms in the classroom

Macclesfield Museums
Visit the virtual silk museums – from egg to cocoon.

Genetically Engineerind Spider Silk
Mutant silk worms are being raised to produce silk stronger than steel.

Mawata Silk Caps Project

Whitchurch Silk Mill

Silk Yarns

EBay Watch

Comments are closed.

This page last edited on April 13, 2011

by


All Fiber Arts by Paivi Suomi is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Advertisements

This website contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links. This helps to cover the costs of keeping this website alive. Thank you for your support.

Facebook

Join our new Facebook Group
AllFiberArts Facebook Group

Interweave Kits

Beading, Crochet, Jewelry, Knitting, Quilting, Sewing and Craft
  • Beginning Rug Hooking (Mineral Point, WI)
    If you’ve always wanted to learn to make a hooked rug, here’s a chance to try it out on a small project. By doing one of the beginning projects you will learn everything necessary to hook larger rugs....
  • 3D Texture and Surface Design on Felt (Coupeville, WA)
    In this three-day experimental workshop there will be several 3D surface manipulations taught, with the goal to gain full control over the process. On the first day we`ll make samples with stitching, creasing,...
  • Foundations of Nature Printing (Mineral Point, WI)
    Experience the magic of nature! Learn to naturally dye fabrics through the modern process of eco-printing. Eco-printing is a technique in which plants, leaves and flowers leave their shapes, color, and...
  • Tactile Metaphors (Coupeville, WA)
    Add dimension and depth to your felt making. While we cover many techniques, it is a class about creative process, ideas and inspiration. We cover a broad range of strong surface design techniques and...