Saturday, June 5, I went hiking in Ambohitrabiby. Before going up to the Palace, we visited a family who works on producing silk. A man had explained the process of silk production. I really loved it because it was the first time for me I could see how it works.
They place the silkworm moths to lay eggs on a paper. After about 10 days, when the eggs hatch, they cut mulberry leaves into little pieces to feed the larvae. A month after hatching, the silkworms stop eating and spin their cocoons. Some cocoons will be kept to allow them complete their life cylcle for the silkworm to lay eggs again and ensure continuation of the species. The other cocoons will be used for the silk production.
The cocoons are poured into a big pot of boiling water for 10 to 15 min. to dissolve the gummy substance that holds the cocoon filament in place. This will make the filaments of some cocoons join. These filaments are then ready for reeling.
I noticed that their methods were simple and the machines they used were old and traditional ones. But the silk they made was just… NICE. It was quite expensive; one meter of silk costs 50,000 MGA. Imagine how much my sis in law would spend for the tablecloth she wanted to order! Anyway, I think it is normal if you could see the thousands of cocoons they used to make it.