Silk is a soft and timelessly elegant fabric that has antibacterial and flame retardant properties. It is a material that is spun from long threads made of the inner cocoon of silkworms. The saliva that is produced by the silkworm for insulating itself during the time of its transformation is used by clothing manufacturing companies to make threads that are harvested and reeled for commercial purposes.
The manufacturing of silk is often regarded as a harmonious and low waste process if it is done well. Silkworms are seen to have a dairy-free and gluten-free raw diet consisting only of leaves of mulberry tree – a tree that is hard, resistant to pollution and easy to grow. The bark of the mulberry tree often has medicinal properties and mulberry fruits are used as a natural dye.
Though silkworms are been killed while extracting silk, the pupae are not wasted as they are rich sources of protein. This makes them be used as a popular snack across the world. The outer cocoons are also used for stuffing pillows and also as a fertilizer.
Many hazardous chemicals could be used for degumming and cleaning the cocoon, therefore it is important for you to choose the silks with care. You can search online for finding the most reliable sources of silk and labels that are not bleached and dyed.
The Silk Worms
Bombyx Mori, which is commonly known as the mulberry silkworm, produces around ninety percent of the commercial silk available in the market. The producers of silk often prefer to boil these cocoons keeping the worms inside for keeping the strands intact. These silkworms became domesticated over the years. The moths don’t have the ability to fly and for this reason, they depend on humanitarian assistance for mating; therefore, their ability to survive out of the cocoons is very limited.
Eri silk is a type of silk that uses domesticated silkworms fed with castor plants. These worms are not harmed during the process of producing silk. These worms are wild and are allowed to leave out of the cocoon before they are harvested from the forest. This is a popular silk brand in many countries of the world.
Also, there are a few companies that use wild silkworms which live in natural habitats. Wild silkworms offer silk that is more durable, thereby allowing producers to use fewer chemicals.