Our Eri silk comes from Meghalaya, a state located in Northeast India. Eri silk is also known as ahimsa or Peace silk. The cocoons are reared in village houses and the silkmoth is allowed to naturally emerge from the cocoon. No toxic chemicals are used in its production. The only ‘chemical’ that comes in touch with it is alkaline soap that is used during the degumming process. And the whole cycle, from silkworm stage to fibre, is very eco-friendly and sustainable too.
The Eri silkworms’ eggs hatch and become eri silkworms. After an about a month of feeding on castor leaves the eri silkworms go off food and start spinning their cocoons. It is magical to see how the cocoons form. A fuzzy, wispy, continuous strand is thrown out of the silkworm’s mouth. The silkworm moves its head vigorously in the shape of 8 during this process, resulting in an oval-shaped cocoon, with a hollow inside with just enough space for the silkworm to turn into a moth. In the photo you can see the moth pushing it's way through the cocoon leaving it’s home to lay eggs.
The second part is taken over by women where the silk yarn is spun from the cocoon. The empty cocoons are collected and boiled in soapy water to remove a gummy substance and are then flattened and dried. The fully dried flat ‘cocoon cake’ is ready for spinning into yarn. Eri silk yarn is either handspun, using a spindle, spinning wheel, or spun by machines in mills.
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