Not too long ago I promised to share something about silk preparations.
Even the name conjures up luxury and fine softness.
So where does silk come from? A simple cocoon.
Silk worms are actually caterpillars and they form their cocoon to pupate from caterpillar to moth. Non-one makes cocoons better than the mulberry silk worms (Bombyx Mori), not for them a rough papery case, or a hole in the ground. Their cocoons are things of beauty. They wrap themselves in fibre, fine as gossamer, strong as steel, layer upon layer encasing themselves in an even protective shell; little knowing that their triumph of construction will be shared and valued around the world.
All our silk comes from beautiful but humble cocoons, though there are a number of different breeds of silk worm producing different cocoons and grades of silk.
Next time we will look at the processing cocoons for hand spinning
To find out more about butterfly and moth life cycles see butterfly school
For UK information on silk and silk worms see Jane Deane
For awesome information on silk worms see Wormspit