View Full Version : silk cocoons

10-25-2007, 08:06 PM
Okay, a while ago I bought a box of different types of silk. It came with a few cocoons. Cool, until I thought about it. I have no freakin idea how to even begin. Does anybody know how to make it usable? I've got something like 5 of them just mocking me.

10-25-2007, 09:46 PM
This is a topic that I don't know too much about, however I will tell you what I do know:

The cocoons most likely have the chrysalis (pupa) in them
the cocoons will most likely have to be degummed to remove the sericin: the gluelike substance that the caterpillars use to stick the silk together
The cocoons will then have to be reeled or stretched; stretching seems more practical.

Michael Cook has a great website all about sericulture (raising silkmoths): http://wormspit.com/
He also has a yahoo group dedicated to silk and silkworm raising: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CatHerders/

Take a look at the "degumming" and "mawatas or hankies" pages on the silkwork portion of the wormspit site.
Once you get them into hankies, you can spin the hankies into yarn. There are tutorials online for spinning from hankies, and it's actually an relatively easy way to get started spinning since you predraft from the hankie before spinning.

Knitty: How to spin silk hankies (http://www.knitty.com/issuewinter05/FEATsilkhankies.html)
Youtube video on spinning hankies (http://youtube.com/watch?v=tZtZ90iqja8)

10-26-2007, 01:39 AM
Hmmm, sounds interesting. I guess it's a matter of just doing it. It may have to wait until I actually have time to myself. LOL

10-26-2007, 03:37 AM
If the puppa is not in it will be much easier as you can draft them out pretty easily, otherwise finding an end to work with (or making one) tends to work pretty well for me.

10-26-2007, 12:05 PM
Yeah, it's still in there.

11-04-2007, 06:08 PM
Just wondering if you ever got a chance to spin the cocoons and how they turned out?

11-05-2007, 01:52 PM
No, haven't had a chance. I have a 3 yo, 2 yo, and a 7 week old. They aren't letting me do much of anything. LOL

11-06-2007, 09:54 AM
very cool video about processing silk cocoons: