Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Visit to a Silk Village in NE Thailand

The Mulberry Plantation

A sheet of silk worm eggs--they'll take about 9 days to hatch into worms.

Silk worms feeding on mulberry leaves for 3 - 4 weeks

When the worms are ready to start spinning their cocoons, they're removed from the leaves.

The fat wriggling caterpillars are sprinkled into rattan trays and then covered with netting.

Starting to spin their cocoons

These cocoons are just about ready for the bath...

A full tray of cocoons--this took from 2 - 7 days.

The cocoons are dropped into simmering water, and the seracin (the gummy yellow substance) softens.

The fibres from several cocoons are "reeled" into a single thread.

The moths inside the cocoons were cooked by the boiling water--the women snacked on these.  We were offered them as a treat but we declined!  I wished I had been brave enough...

This was the only man working in the process--he was creating skeins of "raw silk" from the dry fibre created above.

Skeins of raw silk--still full of seracin...very stiff and coarse.

Our guide in the village--the leader of the silk workers--at work on her loom.

The warp is pink and the weft has been dyed both pink and grey.  She adjusts the weft to get the  undulating pattern

I bought this scarf--very similar to what she was weaving above. 

Our driver's wife was also a weaver in the "Mudmee" tradition which is  where the weft threads are tied and dyed.

Her dye studio

At our driver's home--a traditional Thai house on stilts which is nice and breezy.  I was using his broadband internet connection.

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