Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Cocoons to Thread
These 3500 little specks of black pepper are actually baby silkworms born last spring at the house.
Twenty-five days later they were spinning cocoons. (Click to enlarge.)
Cocoons from last spring ready to be processed into thread.
44 seconds of silkworms spinning cocoons. (video click please.)
It takes time to process the cocoons into thread. Time was precious the past seven months and reeling and spinning silk never made it to the priority list. The cocoons were kept in a fridge and once in a while a few hundred were taken out and reeled.
Reeled silk is when the ends of the thread is found and the cocoons are unravelled using a zaguri.
Here is the mystery of finding the end of the 1500 meter thread that makes up the cocoon.
Elizabeth from Kentucky, (whom I met in Vancouver at the Maiwa Symposium) is at the house for two weeks learning how to make different kinds of threads from silk cocoons. We started with the reeling ten cocoons at a time. Five to seven of these strands will be played together to make kimono warp threads. We will be working on decreasing the mountains of cocoons on the second floor.
Momo that lovely Minx is guarding the reeled silk.