A report on the process of making silk

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A report on the process of making silk

Melissa 10 comments Mark D. How do they make real silk from worms? And despite advances in production methods and new possibilities for cultivation, still today the only reasonable way to glean the thread in mass quantities is by killing the thing that made it.

Silkworms are caterpillars of usually the Bombyx mori moth. During its 3 to 8 day pupating period, the silkworm secretes fibroin, a sticky liquid protein, from its two sericteries special salivary glands.

Pushed through a spinneret opening on the mouththe twin pair of continuous threads harden when they come into contact with the air.

A report on the process of making silk

Next, the silkworm secretes sericin, a bonding agent, from two other glands to hold the two filaments together. While constructing its cocoon, the silkworm will twist in a figure-8 motion abouttimes and produce around 1 kilometer of filament.

Since hatching from the cocoon destroys the thread, to harvest the silk, the cocoon is placed in either boiling water, or blasted with steam or hot air, all processes that kill the pupae. Less lethal methods were tried in the past, such as pulling the silk as the worms spun it, but the worms resisted and bit off the filaments the longest thread harvested in this way was just 6 meters.

Besides killing the pupae, the heat softens the binding agent sericinso that the filaments may be unwound. Sometimes, the softened sericin is left on the fibers, and this product is called raw silk.

From there, raw silk strands are twisted together until a fiber of sufficient strength for knitting or weaving is produced, and different twisting methods produce a different type of thread: Crinkly fabrics are made with crepe, while sheer cloth is made with single thread. Spun silk is comprised of broken filaments that have been processed into a yarn.

To get the billions of cocoons necessary to have a viable silk industry by some estimates, about 10 billion each yearthe worms are cultivated.

Called sericulture, it begins with female moths, each laying about pin-sized eggs, shortly after which they the moths die. The eggs are incubated for 10 days. Gluttons, they feast on mulberry leaves although lesser-quality silks are made from silkworms that eat Osage orange and lettuce.

After about 6 weeks of constant eating, the silkworm has grown to about 3 inches in length, weighs nearly 10, times what it did when it hatched and begins to work on spinning its own grave. Although a few other plants are fed to silkworms, the mulberry has always been associated with its production.

In fact, when the Emperor Justinian first stole the means of silk production in the 6th century AD according to legend, he had two monks smuggle some eggs out of Chinahe also pinched a few seeds of the mulberry tree.

Prior to that, the Chinese had carefully guarded the secret to silk for millennia. By some accounts, she found the secret after a silkworm cocoon fell into her cup of tea, and as she pulled it out, she realized she could unravel its exquisite thread.

Whatever the case, so important was this discovery that she was later deified and given the name, Seine-Than, meaning Goddess of Silk Worms; and the silk she supposedly discovered became so crucial to international trade, that it lent its name to the great East-West route, the Silk Road.

Not wasted, in many places the leftover dead silkworms are seasoned, boiled, fried and eaten. Still, things may be looking up for the humble silkworm. Some kindly researchers have recently discovered a method to harvest long filaments without killing the creature. Noticing that when injured the caterpillar will engage in self-paralysis in order to give itself time to heal, the scientists found a way to isolate the biochemical used by the insect to reach that state.

In its paralyzed state, the worm was unable to bite off the thread as it otherwise would do. The record for gathering silk this way is meters, or about half of that acquired through the traditional method.Silk Making in Ancient China Research Part 2 They kept the process a secret so that they could make it sell it and have a high profit because this was not easy to come by,only being made within the Royal Family.

Weaving: The Complete Process From Thread to Cloth Sandra Rude, Textile Artist It takes practice, and is hard on the hands, but it makes a lovely fringe for a silk or lyocell scarf.

After the scarf is wa shed and ironed, I’ll even . The commercial process of silk making is highly complex and labor intensive. The following will provide basic information on how silk is made. [For general silk information, please visit About Silk Fabric, which covers various related subjects, such as Silk Care & Cleaning, Benefits of Silk, and Chinese Silk History.].

The silk industry makes a distinction between pure-dye silk and what is called weighted silk. In the pure-dye process, the silk is colored with dye, and may be finished with water-soluble substances such as starch, glue, sugar, or gelatin. By Peter Dekker, August 26, Composite bow making is a complex art, one works with various materials like horn, sinew, and wood, all held together by natural glue made of fish bladders.

Hi Bridget. I completely understand the worries! It is raw eggs. Which is the traditional way of making French Silk.

I have made these using a pasteurized egg product before, which you can buy in the market next to the eggs, it’s basically a safer way to use raw egg in cooking.

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