Making peace silk- Turning cocoons into silk

Most of the moths have emerged now and are busy mating and laying eggs for next spring. I have processed a few more of the cocoons and remembered to take photos this time. So here is the process with photos.

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These are the cocoons before cleaning. The rough silk around the cocoons can be harvested (by picking the bits of leaf and poop out) and used as silk noil.

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The cleaned cocoons, these have all emerged and are ready to be processed.

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This is what silk noil looks like before processing. There is a surprisingly large amount around each cocoon.

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I used about half a teaspoon of my washing gel in a saucepan.

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Which I heated in water until it had disolved.

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Then I added the cocoons and let them soak for a while.

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I tried to unravel some of the cocoons a bit, but soon gave up because it was a lumpy mess.

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When the water had cooled a bit I squished the cocoons and worked the seracin (the yellow stuff) out of the fibre. Then I rinsed the mass under the cold tap, gave it a squeeze and lay it out to dry.

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Once it was dry I carded my silk into a beautiful rolag.

I am looking forward to washing out all the cocoons and having a day  of carding and spinning my home produced silk. I wonder what I will make from it? Any suggestions? I don’t think there will be much of it.

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