25.4.11: Silk Factory Chiang Mai

After visiting the Umbrella Making Centre, we visited the Silk Factory, which was nearby.

A lady explained to us in English how silk was made. In separate baskets on a shelf were silk moths, eggs, larvae (at different ages) and cocoons.
Silk moths and tiny white eggs
These eggs hatch into tiny silkworms, who eat the mulberry leaves and grow bigger.
And bigger
And bigger
Then each silkworm makes a cocoon.

These cocoons are boiled in hot water.
The thread would be unravelled from the cocoon would be made into silk cloth.

Silk threads are then dyed with colour
Burn test: To determine whether it is silk or not. If it is silk, it would smelt like burnt hair. If it isn't silk, it would smell like chemical. 
Weaving into cloth

It was quite a sight to see all these worms, squirming and wriggling. It takes about a thousand cocoons to make a silk shirt. Although silk is very nice to touch, I chose not to  buy silk since millions of lives are sacrificed in order to make these silk cloths.

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