Silk is a natural fibre which comes from the cocoons of silkworms, which are the larvae of the mulberry silk moth Bombyx mori.

Life Cycle of a Silkworm

life cycle of the Bombyx Mori silk worm
Life cycle of the silk worm. Image copyright Ozgur Babacan 2015

– A female moth lays 300-500 tiny eggs and after around 10 days, the larvae (silkworms) hatch.

– The silkworms feed solely on large amounts of leaves from the mulberry tree for around 30-40 days.

– The silkworms shed their skin up to four times, or molt, as they continue to eat and grow.

– After their final molt, the silkworm builds a cocoon around itself. The cocoon is a protective casing spun from silk.

– Inside the cocoon, the silkworm changes into a pupa, the stage between larvae and adult moths.

– After around two weeks, the pupa emerges from the cocoon as an adult moth.

– The adult moth looks for a mate so that the female can lay more eggs and begin the cycle again.- The thread from a mulberry cocoon when unwound can be 900 metres long

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