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Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

The Magic of Making Silk Fiber

Watching fine silk fibers being drawn out of a silkworm pupa is captivating & magical!

If the world were to begin again, and no one knew about silk, would I have come up with this idea of boiling the cocoons and then drawing out the fiber out of a dozen pupa? Most likely not. How many trials must humans have made for this to finally been productive?

So much to marvel at!

***

The Thai Silk Process:

Normally a month-old caterpillar stops eating and starts spinning silk for a period of about 3 days. The strand can be upto a mile long. And if disturbed the worm must begin spinning all over again!

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The thick gum coating of the cocoon is softened by immersing the cocoons in hot boiling water.

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Silk Fiber production process

Silk Fiber production process

Silk Fiber production process

As the filament of the cocoon is too fine for commercial use 3-10 strands are reeled in through the hole in the beam.

Silk Fiber production process

Keeping the threads unbroken is a challenge but the villagers are experts at this.

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The process of unwinding the silk filaments from the cocoon and combining them together to make a single thread of silk is shown in the video.

Marvelous isn’t it?!!!

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein

jm

April 2015

One comment on “The Magic of Making Silk Fiber

  1. Pingback: Asia Travelogues Coming Soon | The Wovensouls Journal

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