Hi there! Its a long time now that I haven't posted any information regarding the amazing world of textile. In fact, apart from being busy with all my Christmas preparations, I was also engaged with one of my friends who visited me and guess what, she came from China where she works in a silk company! And as you have come to know by now that I am obsessed with textile, I could not stop myself from gathering her first hand information about silk manufacturing process. She also knows my passion for fabrics so she brought a video of her company's silk factory for me to see. So, here I am for sharing this silky knowledge with all of you!
We all know that silk fiber is a natural fiber that is obtained from silkworms. What's interesting to know is that there are farms to raise silkworms by feeding mulberry leaves for harvesting their cocoons! The silkworm creates its cocoon from a single silk thread which is about 3,500 feet long. When these cocoons are ready with all that surrounding silk, they are hand-picked and placed in an oven or hot water so that to kill the silkworm inside but not to damage the silk in the cocoon. Then they are soaked in water for easily identifying the end of the silk thread so that it may be unraveled from the cocoon.
The Silk Thread
The single thread of a cocoon is too thin and thus 3 to 10 cocoons are combined together and placed on the spinning machine where the threads of these cocoons are automatically unraveled to form a single strand of silk from multiple cocoons. These newly formed silk threads might be further combined to form thicker strands or yarns. During this process, the silk strands are given desired amount of twist to give them strength, desired diameter and other such properties. Silk yarn is then washed with soap and water for bringing out its natural shine and the soft feel. They are then dyed for desired colors.
Silk is now all ready to be used for making end products including silk fabrics through weaving or carpets that are woven either by hand or through machines or the silk thread may just be used for sewing or embroidery to produce decorative garments, home furnishings or other products like shawls, stoles or bags.