Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
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!
The thick gum coating of the cocoon is softened by immersing the cocoons in hot boiling water.
As the filament of the cocoon is too fine for commercial use 3-10 strands are reeled in through the hole in the beam.
Keeping the threads unbroken is a challenge but the villagers are experts at this.
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