Silk is the most beautiful of all the natural fibers. It made by silkworms. In fact, silkworms are not worms at all, they are actually caterpillars or larvae of a moth. There is a special moth called ‘Bombyx Mori’. It goes through an amazing lifecycle that has four stages starting from an egg.
It then becomes a larva or caterpillar and then turns into before becoming finally a moth. It’s the larva(called silkworms) that make a cocoon. It feeds on mulberry leaves and secretes a sticky protein from its body to make this cocoon. This cocoon is then collected and is processed with lots of hard work and care to make yarns of silk.
The process of harvesting the silk from the cocoon is called sericulture.
2. Did you know that making silk actually harms the silkworms?
We know that cocoons are collected and processed to make silks. But what would happen if we leave the cocoons just like that? The silkworms inside become a pupa and will come out of the cocoon by chewing the cocoons strands. This process damages the cocoons as the silk strands would be shorter and less silk sill be made out of it. So, in the silk industry, cocoons are dropped on boiling water before the moth can actually come out on its own. Did you know that 15 silkworms are killed to get 1 gram of silk and 1500 silkworms are killed to get one meter of woven silk cloth!