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.
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.
The cleaned cocoons, these have all emerged and are ready to be processed.
This is what silk noil looks like before processing. There is a surprisingly large amount around each cocoon.
I used about half a teaspoon of my washing gel in a saucepan.
Which I heated in water until it had disolved.
Then I added the cocoons and let them soak for a while.
I tried to unravel some of the cocoons a bit, but soon gave up because it was a lumpy mess.
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.
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.