Sangeetha Pulapaka


As you know silk is dervied from silk worms and the process in which sllk is harvested is called sericulture.        

The touch of silk feels so good, but the only problem with traditional silk is that the silkworm, the little caterpillar that spins the silk, lives a very short, sad life thanks to our demand for this luxurious fiber. What’s happened is that because humans have been raising and farming silkworms for so many thousands of years, the caterpillar has evolved to become completely dependent on humans. There are no silkworms left in the wild; all of them are now raised in homes and farms.

Silkworms start out as an egg that hatches 10 days after its laid. The silkworm larvae eat an incredible amount of mulberry leaves. They’ll eat non-stop for 35 days straight! By the time they’re done, they’ll have increased their weight over 10,000 times.

After it’s fully grown, the silkworm will attach itself to a twig and begin spinning a cocoon. It secrets chemicals from its mouth that, once they interact with air, solidify to form silk. Every silkworm will spin 1,000 yards of silk fiber in just three days. This silk forms the cocoon the silkworm will stay in to become a moth.

After the silkworm has spun its cocoon it will stay in there for 16 days as it transforms into a Bombyx mori moth. Once the transformation is complete, it will begin to excrete a fluid that dissolves a hole in the silk so it can emerge. Well, the silk farmers don’t want their silk damaged by this fluid, so once the cocoon is completely formed they toss all the sacks into boiling water to kill the silkworms.

Unfortunately, most of the silk in the world is grown and harvested in this method. However now there is a new silk called Ahimsa Silk, in which themeans that the silkworms are allowed to become full Bombyx mori moths. They emerge from their cocoons naturally, and die a natural death. Here is the link to more of this.