How do silkworms make silk?
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Date modified : Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 11:46 AM.
~ Silk ~
The most beautiful of all textile fibers is acclaimed as the queen of textiles. It comes from the cocoon of the silk worm and requires a great deal of handling and processing, which makes it one of the most expensive fibers also. Today
is the leading silk producer of the world. Other major silk producing countries include China Japan, India and . Italy
Production Of Silk :
The production of silk material is said to have been first started in
about 5000 years ago. China
· Sorting cocoons
- according to the color, size, shape & texture as these affect the final quality of the silk.
· Softening the Sericin
- Silk filament is a double strand of fibroin, which is held together by a gummy substance called sericin or silk gum. After the cocoon has been sorted, they are put through a series of hot and cold immersions, as the sericin must be softened to permit the unwinding of the filament as one continuous thread.
· Reeling the filament
- Reeling is the process of unwinding the silk filaments from the cocoon & combining them together to make a thread of raw silk. As the filament of the cocoon is too fine for commercial use, three to ten strands are usually reeled at a time to produce the desired diameter of raw silk which is known as “ reeled silk ” . The useable length of reeled filament is 300 to 600 m.
- The silk filament is reeled into skeins, which are packed in a small bundles called books, weighting 2 to 4.5 kg. These books are put into bales weighing about 60 kg. In this form raw silk is shipped to silk mills all over the world.