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  1. 1. Chinese Empress Drinking tea under a tree Silkworm cocoon falls into hot tea Silk strand unravels and larva exposed
  2. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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  8. 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. 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. 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. 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. 12. Mahatma Gandhi promoted Ahimsa silk or Peace silk for those who prefer not to wear silk produced by killing silkworms.
  13. 13. Let us do a quick recap! • • • • What is sericulture? What is moriculture? What is reeling? What is the “Silk Road”?
  14. 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. 15. a. b. c. d. Silk is derived from cocoon pupa egg moth GOOD WORK !
  16. 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. 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. 18. Which term is NOT related with silk industry? a. sericulture b. moriculture c. apiculture d. reeling WELL DONE !
  19. 19. The scientific name of the silkworm is a. Morus alba b. Bombyx mori c. Caterpillar d. None of these BRILLIANT !
  20. 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. 21. THANK YOU