Spinning Silk in Thailand

My husband is traveling in Thailand and sent me these photographs. I think he knew I would like them. This first photograph shows a Thai man spinning silk. Look closely and you will see the delicate silk thread being pulled from several silkworm cocoons.

Spinning Silk from Cocoons

They were taken at the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok. Jim Thompson, as I soon learned, was an American architect who moved to Bangkok after World War II and subsequently established the Thai Silk Company. Look at all those silkworm cocoons!

Silk Cocoons

I love this photograph of a beautiful Thai girl winding the silk thread.

Winding Yarn

I have high hopes of receiving a hank or two of Thai silk yarn when he returns. (Hint, hint).

37 thoughts on “Spinning Silk in Thailand

  1. Gorgeous photos thanks for sharing. It is great to learn how fibres are processed. We had silk worms as pets when the children were little. Those caterpillars can eat so much. Oh the memories you have brought back for me đŸ™‚

    1. I will pass on the photo compliments to the husband. After I received these pics via email, I looked up silkworms on the web and learned that they are great teaching aids in schools. I never knew!

      1. Yes they are fun pets and the kids get to learn all about the life cycle. Warning though , they are very noisy during the mating season as they flap their wings at a rapid pace.:)

    1. I was fascinated when I saw the delicate threads being pulled up from the cocoons! I ended up googling silkworms (not recommended near mealtime) to learn more. So glad you liked.

  2. I’ve been there – it’s fantastic. I’m not sure if you can buy hanks of silk but the fabrics are to die for as well as all the finished products – table linens, bed linens, other home furnishings…sigh…

  3. OMG! We tried that process in a Fiberguild meeting not too long ago. It was so time consuming…I bet these folks have been doing it all their lives, have it down to a science and can whip up some silk in record time. So jealous!

    Love these photos!

    1. I have one silk hankie that’s been waiting to be spun but spinning directly from the cocoons? I was amazed. You’re probably right that they’ve been doing this a long time.

      1. I suspect he’s not spinning the silk, but reeling it. The individual threads aren’t quite strong enough to spin, so three of them are singled up, to make the threads which we get in hankies, or as mulberry roving.

        SIlk is labor intensive, in a different way to flax.

  4. WOW! That’s just so beautiful!!! I love that we all share a common passion for yarn, colours, tradition! Thanks a lot for sharing.

  5. removing silk fibre directly from the cocoon is termed “reeling” – thus reeled silk – the highest grade of silk yarn. the fibre is taken from several cocoons at the same time while they float in heated water. the worm is stifled/killed so that it can’t make a hole in the cocoon when emerging, you would therefore not have a continuous thread.

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