Have you ever wondered how silk is made? Outside Saidpur, Bangladesh I toured a silk production facility. The small factory is a non-profit operation (RDRS) that provides jobs and economic opportunity for women in this poor nation.
The silkworm is the caterpillar of Bombyx mori, the domesticated silk moth. The silk moth is entirely dependent on humans for its reproduction and no longer occurs naturally in the wild.
At the factory, the women, dressed in colorful saris, collect and sort huge piles of golden silkworm cocoons. Once sorted, the cocoons are immersed large into vats of boiling hot water.
This is bad news for the silkworms inside the cocoons! The hot water sparks a chemical reaction that allows the spun cocoon to unravel. Silkworm cocoons are natural bobbins made of one continuous strand of silk thread. After boiling, the cocoons are cooled and taken to a loom and unraveled.
The raw silk thread is then wound onto a spindle, dried and shipped to a textile factory.
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