Cambodia, 2010. At a silk farm. I took a free tour. We started by looking at the mulberry trees that feed the caterpillars.
With a centrifuge, they separate the mature cocoons from the leaves.
Then they were boiling cocoons and then processing the cocoons to get undamaged silk.
They wove the silk and let you touch raw silk and fine silk. The worker said it takes 47 cocoons to get one string of silk.
The moths that make it out alive of these cocoons are light brown. The farm boils 80 percent of the cocoons for silk and sets aside the other 20 percent for reproduction.
”The poet makes silk dresses out of worms.”—Wallace Stevens
”With time and patience, the mulberry leaf becomes satin.” —Maltbie Davenport Babcock
Buy it. Read it. (Or listen to it.) Let me know what you think. –TMLL