Silk - Procedure, Properties and Types

Silk is a protein fibre. Except silk other protein fibres are weaker than cellulostic fibres. Silk is the strongest and the longest natural fibre. It is produced by a caterpillar called silk worm. To make its Cocoon a substance is extended from its body in one continuous strand from begining to end. It is possible to unwind the Cocoon to obtain silk filament. China is the leading silk producer of the world. Other major silk producing countries includes Japan, India and Italy.

Silk Procedure

The life cycle of silk worm encircles in four stages - the egg, the silkworm, the pupa and the moth. A large quantity of silk is produced by "Seri-culture", a method to produce silk by domesticating the silk worm.


Production of Cocoon for their filament is called Sericulture. In sericulture, the silkworm is domesticated on mulberry trees and after laying of eggs it is collected to give incubation in a mildly warm atmosphere. At the end of 30 days (the time to require hatching of eggs) Silkworm hatches. They are about 1/8th inch. The young Silkworm requires care and carefully controlled diets. Shedded or chopped mulberry leaves are fed to the worms 5 times each day. The area in which worms are grows is kept clean for about a month. The worm grows gradually and the fully grown worms are about 3 inches in length. Only these moths are selected as breeding stock and are permitted to complete the cycle. The Cocoon is formed by silkworm in 2-3 days. The silk worm begins to spin a cocoon by letting out fibroin a gummy material, moving its head in the shape of "8".

Reeling of Silk

The cocoons are sorted according to the color, size, shape and texture. Reeling is the process of unwinding the silk filaments from the cocoon and combining them together to make a thread of raw silk. Several cocoons are placed in a container of warm water, which helps to remove the gummy substance and the filament of silk are removed and filled on reel to form silk. The filament from 3 10 cocoons are held together to form a strand of yarn.
Properties of Silk
1. Color
The natural color of cultivated silk is off white to cream. A different kind of silk known as Wild Silk is browm
2. Luster
The luster of degummed silk is high but not so bright as manufactured fibres.
3. Environmental Properties
Important silk producing worm is "Bombyxmori" (Latin word for Silkworm of the mulberry tree). Main protein of silk is serisin and fibron. Silk is known as the "Queen of Textiles".
Silk Mark was an initiative of Ministry of Textiles, Govt of India, SilkMark Organisation of India.
Types of Silks
Mulberry Silk
The mulberry silkworm Bombyxmori feed on Mulberry leaves and is the only domesticated silkworm reared indoors. Origin : Karanataka, Andra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamilnadu
Vanya Silk
The commercially produced Vanya Silks are the Tussar, Eri and Muga produced exclusively by India.
Tussar Silk
Indian Tussar, copperish in color is produced by the silkworm "Antherea Mylitta" which thrives on Asan and Arjun, out in the open nature. Origin : Orissa, West Bengal, Andrapradesh.
Eri Silk
Eri also known as Endi or Errandi, with its matt finish is produced by Endi Silkworm Philosamia Ricini domesticated and reared indoors on castor leaves. Endi is blended with cotton, wool, jute and even mulberry silk to create premium fashion accessories and home furnishing. Eri Silk is also called as "Ahimsa Silk" because it is obtained from without killing the moth. Origin : Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar
Muga Silk
Muga silk obtained from semidomesticated silkworm "Antheraca Assamensis" feeds on the leaves of Som and Soalu plants. Muga is available in different shades of natural gold. Muga silk is generally used in filament form. Origin : Assam
Mulberry Varieties
Silk Care and Washing
Silk Wash Care
Storing Silk Garments
Storing Silk clothes

Please leave your comments, we do love it!
Most Viewed Articles, Check them out!
Color wheel, concepts and basic color theory
Color wheel, concepts and basic color theory
Tuxedo, Blazzers - the latest fashion for men
Tuxedo, Blazzers - the latest fashion for men
Americian, French and Greek Costume
Americian, French and Greek Costume
Difference between wool and rayon
Difference between wool and rayon
" I don’t want a politician who’s thinking about fashion for even one millisecond. It’s the same as medical professionals. The idea of a person in a Comme des Garcons humpback dress giving me a colonoscopy is just not groovy " ~ Simon Doonan
The Institution
About Us
Contact Us
Related Links
Fashion Designing
Dress Designing
Reach Us
Waves Institute of Fashion Designing,
3rd Floor, Chavara Cultural Centre,
St. Thomas Church, Amalapuri,
Near 4th Gate, P T Usha Road,
Kozhikode (Calicut) - 673001, Kerala, India
© Waves Institute of Fashion Designing 2022. All Rights Reserved   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms and Conditions