For my birthday we took a river cruise to Silk Island (thank you Ebersoles!) to see firsthand how silk is made. I knew the process started with silk worms eating mulberry leaves but I had never seen one before. The cocoons are a beautiful golden color with white fuzz. Turns out cocoons actually produce two different kinds of silk. The first is that white fuzz. It’s pulled off and doesn’t feel at all silky. Very rough between your fingers. The inner silk is so smooth and a beautiful gold color. This is the silk that is dyed in every color under the sun and used for scarves and skirts.
It is the widows of the island that are in charge of weaving the silk. They live in houses above their intricate wooden looms. A small scarf without pattern can take three days to weave with the loom while a large scarf or skirt with pattern can take 10+!!! I had no idea how intricate some of the designs can be to weave! The results are stunning however. All in all, it was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday.