The diagrams illustrate the life cycle of the silkworm and the steps involved in the silk production process.
From the diagrams, it can be seen that the silkworm has a life cycle of 2 ½ – 3 months, and the silk production process requires minimal energy and technological investment.
The life cycle starts with the laying of eggs by the silkworm moth on a mulberry leaf. Ten days later, the eggs hatch into silkworm larvae, which devour the leaf on which they hatched. The larvae feast on mulberry leaves for 4-6 weeks, after which they spin a silk thread cocoon. The cocoon takes 3-8 days to construct. The silkworms entomb themselves in their own cocoon and remain in it for 16 days while they undergo metamorphosis to emerge as a moth. The moth lays eggs on a mulberry leaf and the life cycle is complete.
For the silk production, cocoons are selected and placed in a vat of boiling water. They are subsequently removed and unwound into a 300-900m thread. A thicker thread is made by twisting 3 long strands, and then it is dyed. Finally, the thicker thread is woven into silk fabric, which is also then dyed.