Were you ever curious to know more about how silk is made and facts about silk. Here is additional information about the silk that you put on your bed.
How silk is made
Special silk farms make the silk we use today. There, silk farms raise silk worms that spin the fine silk thread. The silk worms are fed mulberry leaves. Then, these silk worms will roll themselves into a cocoon of the silk thread or what is called filaments. After that, the farms will take over through a four stage process. First, the cocoons are sorted based on their color, size, shape and texture since not all silk thread is of the same quality. Depending on those attributes, the quality will be different. Second, the cocoons are put in hot and cold water to soften the sericin. Sericin is the silk gum that hold all of the silk thread together. If you soften the gum, the silk filaments on the cocoon will easily unwind into one long thread. Next the silk thread is reeled and then combined to make a single thread. Three to ten filaments have to be combined to make the thread. Finally, silk is reeled into skeins in a process called baling. After that, the silk is shipped to silk mills to be processed.
How do you determine if an item is pure silk
Silk can be determined to be pure by performing what’s called a “burn test.” If you burn the silk, it will produce an unpleasant smell and the fiber will become a powder like ash. Pure silk fibers will also dissolve in bleach.
Where is silk primarily made?
Silk is primarily made in China, India, Uzbekistan, Brazil, Iran, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Romania and Japan. The largest producer of silk is China which produces about half of the world’s silk. That is why you will most often see silk sheets made in China. You can also buy silk sheets for a much lower price in China than anywhere else.
Do other insects also make silk?
Surprisingly, silk is produced by a few other insects such as bees, wasps and ants, but only the silk of moth caterpillars are used to produce and manufacture silk.
Other surprising silk facts
-To produce 2.2 lbs. of raw silk requires about 5,500 silk caterpillars.
-A silkworm takes approximately 3-4 days to spin a full cocoon around itself.
-It takes about the following number of cocoons to make each item listed: 120 cocoons to make a men’s tie, 635 cocoons to make a woman’s silk blouse, and about 12,000 cocoons to make a silk-filled comforter.