Silkworms feed exclusively on Mulberry leaves. The Mulberry tree belongs to the Morus gender of the Moracae Family. It requires moderate care and adjusts well to different climatic conditions. It grows well in temperate and tropical climates and thrives in temperatures between 24-28°C and altitudes up to 800 meters.
For Sericulture purposes dense and low layouts between 250 – 1.500 trees per 1.000m² are used. Ideal climatic conditions and high soil fertility can facilitate a denser, more intensive layout.
Typical agricultural activities are necessary for the cultivation of Mulberry trees. The plantation should not be in close proximity to industrial areas and other cultivations that require the spraying of chemicals or non organic fertilizers.
Silkworms grow in the Silkworm Rearing House in a controlled environment where specific temperature, humidity, lighting and ventilation conditions must be met. The Rearing House conditions are very important as they have direct effect on Cocoon production quality and quantity.
The size of the Rearing House is related to the size and productivity of the available Mulberry plantation and to the targeted Silk quality.
There are several rearing methods, on the floor, in “Beds” or Crates or a combination of both depending on available space and targeted cocoon quality.
Hygiene conditions are also important as warm and humid conditions favor the growth of bacteria that affect Silkworms.
The Fresh Cocoon that is produced at the rearing house is processed as follows:
- De-flossing (The surrounding floss is removed from the cocoon).
- Drying (The cocoon is placed in a drying oven to reduce its moisture)
- Cooking (Hot water expands the cocoon and prepares it for reeling)
- Pairing – twisting (Silk fibers are paired and twisted according to specifications)
- Reeling and Re-reeling (initial reeling of the fiber and subsequent re-reeling according to specifications – Raw Silk)
- Weaving (Silk threads, yarns and fabrics are produced)
- Coloring – Stamping (Both threads and fabrics can be colored and fabrics can also be stamped as required)