ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

That Magnificent - WORM!

Updated on August 29, 2009

Several years ago while earning a living and thinking what all those things I would do when the day came that I could retire. Most people would say that they would travel. Well my job required that I travel all over the U.S, so that was not on my to-do list. All those canceled flights sitting and sleeping in airports for what seemed like forever . No I just wanted to sit back and do what ever the day offered with out flying off some where.

My Cajun grandfather who could neither read or write, (My Cajun Man) hub, had a saying that "if the hands are busy then the mind will follow." So i tried to always take along a knitting bag. This made me think of the fibers that are spun and woven into our clothes. It was then that I took closer notice of the people that hurried past me, not to where they might be going but what they were wearing, colors and fabric.

In one of my trips to Arizona I had the opportunity to see a Navajo woman spinning wool for a rug. This fascinated me and as I observed her pulling and stretching the wool fiber while she spun it into a perfect uniform size. I asked her several questions. How tight do you hold the fiber? How do you keep it the same size? She never stopped or took her eyes off of her task. She simply replied, "The hands know."

Finally the day came when I could do those things that I wanted to do. The fashion trend at that time was silk. This is my favorite still today so I began to explore this avenue. I wanted to learn to spin silk fibers. Now most people would sign up and take classes on the subject that they wanted to learn. Just call me a REBEL or stubborn because I am not one to follow the herd.

First I went out and bought a spinning wheel. With that now in front of me I was determine that I could conquer this wheel that spun around and those words that the Navajo woman said that I had tucked into the back of my mind, came forth and soon the hands knew.

Silk fabric was first developed in ancient China, possibly as early as 6000BC. At present, world production of silk is nearly as great as at previous time, and it is increasing. Japan produces about 20,000 tons of raw-reeled silk a year and uses more that she can produce. Japan, Russia, India and China are all encouraging silk production their spheres of influence to increase their supply of raw material.

India produces large amounts of both cultivated and wild silks, most of which is used within the area. In much of the country sericulture and silk weaving are practiced on small village scale, as they have been for millennia. India is probably the only place in the world where a large portion of pattern weaving is still done on hand and foot operated looms.


Silk moths lay eggs on specially prepared paper. The eggs hatch and the caterpillars (silkworm) are fed fresh mulberry leaves. After about 35 days and 4 moltings, the caterpillars are 10,000 times heavier than when hatched, and are ready to begin spinning a cocoon. Straw type frame is placed over the tray of caterpillars, and each caterpillar begins spinning a cocoon by moving its head in a figure 8pattern. Two glands produce liquid silk and force it through openings in the head called spinnerets. The liquid silk is coated in sericin, a water-soluble protective gum and solidifies on contact with the air. It takes 2-3 days for the caterpillar to spin about 1 mile of filament and is completely encased in a cocoon. The caterpillars are then killed by heat.



There was a time when silk raising was introduced to America.  Yet it has never been commercially successful, although  the climate is excellent.  The high cost of labor is a major reason.

The sparkle of the silk has a fascinating advantage.  While mostly smooth, it does have some irregularities.  These break up the reflected light and produce the sparkles.  As a medium for color, silk is unsurpassed.  Silk colors are as beautiful as flowers and it is easy to dye.  I particularly like to blend silk in with other fibers such as Merino wool and alpaca and then dye it and the silk takes to the dye in a different manner and the high lights and sparkle make it unique.

Another option that I really like is to purchase Silk Hankies  which are made from a silk cocoon that is opened at one end and stretched across the hand into a square.  These can be dyed with several color blending to give an awesome effect.  Using silk in a hand made gift for that special person says much more than words on a store bought card.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Thanks Teresa, as they say "the spice of life--is variety." You also write on many subjets and I too enjoy them. I think you have met the rest of my wacky family that are hubbers---Jerilee wei and Ryanobie and I'm the sane???one.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Ginn -- what a wonderful hub. You are a fascinating person, ya know that? I look forward to seeing what you write next, as it's bound to be something different and interesting.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Christa, you will love it! It just takes practice and the hands will know.

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Learning to spin is the next craft on my list of thing to know. Thank you for the informative hub. Silk worms are amazing!

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Thanks G-Ma, I too believe in learning new things--New & Old.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Yes and I learned how to weave baskets, that would hold water, from pine needles...and how to felt wool...and make dolls and many things...The plain, wonderful old ways are so lost these days...Thanks for a great hub my dear...G-Ma :o) Hugs & peace

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Jerilee, yes and I wonder how many people ever think about what our fore-fathers had to do to just make cloth. (most of them today would just have to wear a FIG-LEAF?

      Aya I'm glad you enjoyed it. No I don't raise them only because there preferred food is white mulberry leaves and I don't have access to these. They will feed on other types of mulberry but they will not produce useable silk.

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Gin Navarre, great hub on a fascinating topic. Do you raise silk worms? Is it true that they prefer mulberry leaves?

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      It's always been fascinating to me in how little most people know about what it takes to have silk from those magnificent worms. Video was very straightforward, the way it should be. Great hub mom!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)