Tag Archives: silkworm

Independence (for silkworms)

Somehow sensing that this year’s Independence Day needed a sign, a signal, a ray of something, the silkworms picked the 4th to start cocooning.  Now, the 6th, many are involved in that seemingly magical process while the rest are casting about looking for some real estate to call home.
I’ve been working and watching them. Thinking about my own cocoon of sorts. If I were a silkworm I might not want to emerge for awhile.
The caterpillars will be in their pupae stage for about two weeks and those that are not stifled  will begin to emerge from their cocoons then. Stifled cocoons (where the pupae is killed by heat or steam) will be used for reeling and cut cocoons or cocoons from which the moths have naturally emerged can be used to make silk hankies or mawata for other textile uses.
I have two types of cocooning frames or beds. One is the cardboard frame type currently used by sericulturists in Japan and one is the straw bedding. I got them both out and cleaned them up before setting them up for the silkworms.

I’m hoping there will be some good news to share with them on the other side! 

A few more photos…

It’s hot here today-supposed to be up to 103 today and tomorrow. Drew all the blinds and keeping the house cool as long as possible hoping to not use the $AC$.  Our little cocoon for the next couple of days…at least until the sun sets at 8 PM.

time passes by…

seems so long since the last post but it’s only been 4 days. odd.

first i should report…the cats are getting big. seriously big.

feel like i am in a bit of a fog. just working too much and other household/garden chores. got the shipment out for houston containing all my stuff for the workshops. that’s a big worry off my mind. i got an order off to a lovely jewelry maker in switzerland after some minor difficulties but all turned out well and much was learned. i have spend lots of time making up ribbon kits and more. spent the whole day today making silk flowers and new samples in between feeding the silkworms. no flower photos until after the show i think-just no time. will be doing a weeks worth of dyeing beginning tomorrow. the last hurrah before the show. there are some really beautiful things being gathered. it’s going to be fun presenting it all once i get to houston.

the above photo was just a teaser…based on something i saw when i was in japan. here is another view…

let's be friends...

like i said, the cats are getting big. i was surprised none started spinning this weekend. they just eat, and eat, and eat. and eat more. they should start spinning by wednesday for sure that will mark 30 days since they started hatching. i have a big container ready and waiting.

i should probably mention, if you want to purchase anything before houston, please do so by this friday ( Oct.21st). sales are always welcome~ but after that, things will be shipped upon my return. (after nov. 7)

i’ll be busy for the next few days but will let you know when the cats start spinning.

transformation-the silk moths emerge

the silk moths finally started emerging friday night. so far-as of tonight (sunday), 6 of the 12 are hatched out of the cocoons-5 males and one female-finally. first 5 males hatched and i was getting worried there wouldn’t be a female before the males died-apparently 36-48 hours after hatching. the first pair is mating now.

moth at work-emerging

a moth in hand...

moths emerge


what a handsome fellow!

looking like he's ready for takeoff!


but really, they can’t fly at all!

mask


this last photo shows a cocoon i sliced in half after the moth emerged. you can see the pupae casing as well as the silkworms face that comes off separately. it’s as if he was wearing a mask and in his transformation from silkworm to moth he casts it aside-ready for the next short phase. beautiful.

note- i added a few of these on my flickr site in large format-