- Legend of Silk
- The Silk Road and the Ancient Silk Story
- The Silk Worm and Mulberry Tree
- Extracting Silk
- Making Silk Fabrics
- Purposes of Silk Fabrics
Legend of Silk
The story begins in China. And the story behind the silk is an accident and it runs back to 27th century BCE. There was a Chinese emperor called Yellow Emperor. One day empress of him was sipping a cup of tea under a Mulberry Tree. Suddenly a cocoon of a worm felt into that cup of tea and it began to dissolve. The cocoon dissolved into a thread like formation and that was the discover of silk.
The Silk Road and the Ancient Silk Story
When the China began to make silk fabric, it was very popular among all the territories of China and among every status of people. Later it spreads around the world, also to the westward. To transport this silk to the westward they used a road which laid across Takia Makan desert, Pamir mountain range, modern Afghanistan and to the Mediterranean sea. This was a caravan track and almost 4000 miles long.
The Silk Worm and Mulberry Tree
Silk is generated by silkworm. Silkworm is the caterpillar of the silk moth and scientifically named as Bombyx mori. The favorite food of the silkworm is Mulberry leaves. Female moth laid about 500 eggs on Mulberry leaves and eggs hatch within 20 days. These small larvae eat mulberry leaves continuously and increase weight up to about 70 times from 18 days. The growth of the silkworm is very fast. Their skin gets silky when the worm gets ready to make silk cocoon. At that time silk manufacturers separate these worms to special cavities. There the silkworms form cocoons. These cocoons made by silk. Silk fiber is generated by the silkworm via a small open near the mouth. When the create silk fiber they turn their heads side by side and generate silk fibers continuously. These silk fibers formed by mixing the protein called fibroin and a sticky component called sericin. Worm can create a silk fiber of about 30-40 cm in length per minute. When they finalize one fiber it will long about 1000-3000 feet. Worm gets about 2 days to create this type of fiber.
Silk fiber is extracted by boiling cocoons. Presently they use machinery to collect the silk fibers. To make the string thick, manufacturers twist more fibers together. To smoothen the silk, manufacturers remove the sticky Sericin of the silk fiber.
Making Silk Fabrics
After they got extracted silk fibers from cocoons the next step is the fabric making. The number of fibers twists to make the yarn is depend on the thickness of fabric needs to create. If the fabric is thin, a very little twist or no twist used. Next the coloring step. Silk fabrics are bright, strong, soft, absorb wetness, not burn and absorbs UV rays and protect the skin. Manufacturers still could not be able to create silk materials artificially.
Purposes of Silk Fabric
Most of the time it uses for garments and under garments. In addition, silk uses more widely all over the world in may industrial and commercial purposes. Silk is used for comforter filling, parachutes, bicycle tyres, artillery gunpowder bags, manufacture of fishing fibers, insulation coils for telephone and wireless receivers, filter cloths, medical dressings, etc.
That was the amazing story of silk which an accidently found but changed the world. Chinese kept the silk making a secret for thousands of years and made their commercial trade along the silk road. Nowadays silk is produced in several countries of the world. India, Uzbekistan, Brazil, Japan, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Iran, etc. are some of the countries who make silk commercially. All together these countries, they have formed an International Sericultural Commission to establish their silk industry.