Silk is the filament secreted by the silkworm when spinning its cocoon, and the name for the threads, yarns, and fabrics made from the filament.  Most commercial silk is produced by the cultivated silkworm, Bombyx mori, which feeds exclusively on the leaves of certain varieties of mulberry trees and spins a thin, white filament.  Several species of wild silkworm feed on oak, cherry, and mulberry leaves and produce a brown, hairy filament that is three times the thickness of the cultivated filament and is called tussah silk.
Raw filament silk is 0.025 mm (1/1,000 in) thick, and may be from 900 to 1,500 M (3,000 to 5,000 ft) long.  Because single filaments are extremely fine, filaments from five to ten cocoons are wound together by drawing them through a porcelain guide and twisting them into a single fiber that is glued together. The reeled yarn is termed raw silk.(1)
Silk Fiber Process
  Bombyx Silk Tussah Silk  

Its delicate look and feel are deceptive, because silk is the strongest of all natural fibers, ranked in strength with the synthetic fiber nylon.  Woven into cloth, silk is lightweight but retains warmth, and it is valued as an insulating liner in gloves and footwear.  Nevertheless, it is the coolest of hot-weather fabrics, and it can absorb up to 30 percent of its weight in moisture without feeling wet.  The fiber is remarkably resistant to heat and will burn only as long as a flame is applied to it.   Until the introduction of nylon, silk was the only fiber strong and light enough to be used for parachutes, sheer hosiery, and surgical sutures.(1)

We carry the following silk

            • Bombyx Sliver

            • Silk Noil - Undyed

            • Tussah Silk Sliver

Last Update: Sunday, March 9, 2003

Note: (1)  Information from 1998 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia