(Glossary Term)

The process of cultivating, harvesting, and processing silk from silkworms, primarily the domesticated caterpillar Bobyx mori, which is a type of moth. Silkworms are fed a diet of mulberry leaves, increasing their body weight nearly 10,000 times in their month-long lifespan. The silkworms extrude a protein-based liquid that when exposed to air becomes the filament that creates their cocoon. The cocoons are soaked in hot water to soften them and the filament is drawn out and wound onto a reel. Several filaments are drawn out simultaneously and twisted together in a process much like plying.

« Back to Glossary Index