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  • 1. Chinese Empress Drinking tea under a tree Silkworm cocoon falls into hot tea Silk strand unravels and larva exposed
  • 2. • A Chinese tale of the discovery of the silkworm's silk was by an ancient empress Lei Zu, the wife of the Emperor. • She was drinking tea under a tree when a silk cocoon fell into her tea and the hot tea loosened the long strand of silk. • As she picked it out and started to wrap the silk thread around her finger, she slowly felt a warm sensation. • When the silk ran out, she saw a small larva. She realized that this caterpillar larva was the source of the silk. • She taught this to the people and it became widespread.
  • 4. • Sericulture, or silk farming, is the rearing of silkworms for the production of raw silk. • Bombyx mori is the most widely used species of silkworm and intensively studied. • Stages of production of silk • The silk moth lays eggs. • The eggs hatch, and the larvae feed on mulberry leaves. • When the silkworms are about 10,000 times heavier than when they hatched, they are ready to spin a silk cocoon. • The silk is produced in two glands in the silkworm's head and then forced out in liquid form through openings called spinnerets.
  • 5. • The silk solidifies when it comes in contact with the air. • The silkworm spins approximately 1 mile of filament and completely encloses itself in a cocoon in about two or three days. • Due to quality restrictions, the amount of usable silk in each cocoon is small. As a result, 5500 silkworms are required to produce 1 kg of silk. • The silk at the cocoon stage is known as raw silk. One thread consists of up to 48 individual silk filaments.
  • 6. • Appearance of silkworm • Silkworms begin as wormlike larvae with the three distinct body parts of an insect. After spending time in a cocoon, the silkworm morphs into a scaly, four-winged moth. • Moulting • After hatching from eggs, the worms moult four times before spinning their cocoons. • Diet • Silkworms eat the leaves of the mulberry tree or can exist on an artificial diet. • Moriculture is the science of mulberry cultivation to rear silkworm for silk production. • Habitat • Silkworms now depend on silk producers and laboratories to propagate the species. In their domestication, the moths lost the ability to fly, so wild populations no longer exist.
  • 7. Click here
  • 8. • When the silk worm forms a covering around itself by secreting a protein , this is called the cocoon stage. • It is at this time that the cocoons are delivered to the factory by the farmer. These factories are called filature operations. • There they are sorted by color, size, shape and texture. They usually range from white and yellow to grayish. • After the sorting, the cocoons have to be boiled in water, while they are still intact, for 5 minutes while they are being turned gently.
  • 9. • They are taken out of the water and a dissecting needle is used to pick up the strands. A single strand that will come off easily is wound around a pencil. • It is unwound in one continuous thread, which are collected into skeins. The process is called “reeling.” • Such 3 to 10 or more fine strands are reeled together to produce the desired diameter of raw silk. This is known as "reeled silk." • This silk is reeled into skeins, packed into small bundles called books and then shipped to silk mills around the world.
  • 10. • This silk is woven into cloth and sarees. India is the largest consumer of silk in the world. In India, silk is worn by people as a symbol of royalty while attending functions and during festivals. • Let us watch the process of sericulture in detail. The Story of Silk.flv
  • 11. • “Silk Road” was the world’s longest trade route between Eastern China and Mediterranean Sea. Silk, the most valuable commodity in those times was transported along this road. • China was the first to start sericulture and the cultivation of silk worm spread throughout China soon. • Today, China and India are the two main producers, together manufacturing more than 60% of the world production each year.
  • 12. Mahatma Gandhi promoted Ahimsa silk or Peace silk for those who prefer not to wear silk produced by killing silkworms.
  • 13. Let us do a quick recap! • • • • What is sericulture? What is moriculture? What is reeling? What is the “Silk Road”?
  • 14. A few brain teasers for you….. Which among the following is an animal fiber? a. jute b. cotton c. polyester d. Silk RIGHT ANSWER, GENIUS!
  • 15. a. b. c. d. Silk is derived from cocoon pupa egg moth GOOD WORK !
  • 16. The silkworm is (a) a caterpillar, (b) a larva. Choose the correct option. (i) a (ii) b (iii) Both a and b (iv) neither a nor b EXCELLENT !
  • 17. Which of these is NOT a stage of a silkworm’s life? a. larva b. pupa c. egg d. moult THAT’S RIGHT !
  • 18. Which term is NOT related with silk industry? a. sericulture b. moriculture c. apiculture d. reeling WELL DONE !
  • 19. The scientific name of the silkworm is a. Morus alba b. Bombyx mori c. Caterpillar d. None of these BRILLIANT !
  • 20. Did you know? • A filament from a mulberry cocoon can be more than a kilometer. • Silk is stronger than an equivalent strand of steel. Assignment • Find the different types of silk produced in India • Do you think it is right to kill the silk worm for silk production for humans? Write your views in 150 words
  • 21. THANK YOU