Silk Facts


I recently had the pleasure of meeting a woman, whos lifes passions and formal education was in asian arts. She has lended me a few books for study and reading that she recommends on the upmost. Her professional background is exceptional (art museums and more), so I am confident that her recommended suggestions for reading are of the highest of quality.

So far, the reading has been great. As such, I wanted to record a few facts I have read, and also share them.
Source: ‘Understanding Far Eastern Art’ by Julia Hutt, 1987
*A recent chinese publication is quoted 6,000 as being the number of of silkworms needed to produce 1.7 (5.6ft) square meters of fabric.
*It takes most silkworms an average of 10 days to go from cocoon to moth. Silkworms, are moths. Before the moth can emerge, the silkworm is killed inside the cocoon using a steaming method. this is done to preserve the silk cocoon for harvest.
*The silkworm cocoon is placed in hot water, which causes it to relax and the ‘glue’ (sericin) holding it together to discolve. From this cocoon tiny threads are produced.
* 6 to 7 stranges of silk are combined to make the finest of threads, up to 25 strands of silk are used to make coarser grade silk.
*’Throwing’ is the process in which silk threads are twisted together. This process makes the thread stronger, but reduces its lustre a little.
*Each cocoon yields approximately 500 meters of continuous silk thread.
*The sufixes used for kimono based on the sleeve are as follows: kosode (small sleeve), and hirosode (wide sleeve), and the furisode (swinging sleeve)


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