Saturday, November 28, 2009

How Silk Is Made

I visited Silk factory at Chiang Mai last month and posted some photos on Facebook. Sha requested for a process flow for the silk making process and I promised her then. However, when I wanted to start to write about it, I noticed that I didn't "audit" them and hence do not know about all the details of the process and decision making steps....... So, I finally gave up the plan of preparing the process flow. I think a simple "Show and Tell" will do.

1. The silk worm - The newly hatched silkworm multiplies its weight 10,000 times within a month

I dare not go near to these worms so I have to use the maximum zoom in the dark condition

The fatty one, almost near the days of spinning cocoon

2. Sorting the cocoon - The cocoons are sorted according to the color, size, shape and texture as these affect the final quality of the silk. The photos below show yellow cocoons and greyish cocoons from the factory.

3. Softening - I always love silk. I always tought that it was made from the cocoon after the silkworm moth left their cocoon (yalah, never do my research properly). It was to my surprise to find out that the cocoons are put through a series of hot and cold immersions, ALIVE! I doubt if I still love silk......

Can you see the fine filaments from the cocoon?

4. Reeling the filament - this lady is unwinding the silk filaments from the cocoon and combining them together to make a thread of raw silk.

5. Bailing - checked from internet and found that these are called "book"

6. Weaving - i love this traditional way of weaving. Timeless.
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