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Silk Twisting from Cocoons to Weaving.

Updated on February 6, 2013
skgrao profile image

A qualified Textile Post Diploma Graduate and Ex.M D of a Textile Mill.

Silk Printing.

Silky Silk So Smooth.( Cocoon Silk is Wound on Small Spools.)

Silk is a Technical Textile Material.

Rewound Silk on Small Spools is now wound on Hanks

Twist effects in Silk Fabrics.

INDIA is 2nd and next to CHINA in the production of SILK but we do not produce even half of what CHINA produces.We Import silk from China,why because we ( the SILK MERCHANTS want to make MONEY).Govt turns a blind eye to this trade which is affecting local Silk Farmers to get proper price for their production as Silk from China is superior to that of our Silk produced by the Silk Farmers.To improve their quality they can do it provided its profitable.How Silk Imported from China is Cheaper than ours.Why cant the Govt impose more duty on imported Silk.( The Silk Merchants will not make MONEY then).So the Silk Merchants bribe the Govt and see that the Govt will not increase the duty simple,who cares for the country if its 2nd or 1st.We can beat CHINA provided we have a trust worthy govt and politicians.

Twist as the name given is too complicated in Silk Fabric.

If Cotton is King of Natural Fibers,Silk is called as Queen of natural fibers.

Wool is a Technical Textiles natural fiber a distinguished category.

Twist in Cotton or Wool has limitations but Silk has unlimited use in making various fabrics just by giving twists and using different deniers in Warp & Weft fabrics are made as given here under.

The Traditional Names that are used in manufacture of Silk are :-

1 ) Alepine - Mixed wool and silk

2 ) Ardass - Fine silk.

3 ) Armure - Twilled Woollen or silk fabric

4 ) Arrasene - Embroidery Fabric of Wool and Silk.

5 ) Baldachin - Rich Embroidered Silk and Gold Fabric.

6 ) Barathea - Pebbly Silk Fabric with Broken Rib Weave.

7 ) Barege - Gauzy Fabric of Silk.

8 ) Barracan - Fine Silk Cloth.

9 ) Brocade - Rich Silk Fabric With Raised Patterns.

10 ) Camaca - Fine Silk Fabric.

11 ) Camlet - Strong Waterproof Silk Fabric.

12 ) Cendal - Silk Fabric Resembling Taffeta.

13 ) Challis - Soft Lightweight Silk.

14 ) Charmante - Silk Fabric with a Crepe Back.

15 ) Charmeuse - Soft and Satiny Silk Fabric.

16 ) Chenille - Velvety Silk Fabric.

17 ) Chiffon - Sheer Silk Fabric.

18 ) Cypress - Silk Gauze Fabric, usually Black.

19 ) Ducape - Plain-Woven Stout Silk Fabric.

20 ) Dupion - Coarse Silk.

21 ) Gazar - Silk Organza Fabric.

22 ) Georgette - Thin Silk.

23 ) Grenadine - Thin Silk.

24 ) Kincob - Embroidered Silk with Gold and Silver Threads.

25 ) Lutestring - Plain Glossy Silk.

26 ) Marabout - Thin Downy Silk.

27 ) Messaline - Soft Lightweight Silk With a Satin Weave.

28 ) Mogadore - Ribbed Silk Used in Making Neckties.

29 ) Moire - Watered Silk.

30 ) Organza - Transparent Thin Silk.

31 ) Paduasoy - Corded Silk.

32 ) Panne - Heavy Lustrous Silk.

33 ) Pekin - Fine Soft Silk.

34 ) Poplin - Corded Woven Silk.

35 ) Prunella - Strong and Heavy Silk.

36 ) Romal - Handkerchief or Head cloth; Silk.

37 ) Samite - Rich and Heavy Silk, sometimes Interwoven with Gold or Silver.

38 ) Sarsenet - Fine and Soft Silk; Soft or Gentle.

39 ) Satin - Closely Woven Silk with Lustrous Face.

40 ) Sicilienne - Ribbed Silk.

41 ) Taffeta - Thin Glossy Silk.

42 ) Tiffany - Transparent Silk-like Gauzy Fabric.

43 ) Tricolette - Silk Knitted Fabric.

44 ) Tricot - Plain Knitted Silk Fabric.

45 ) Tussah - Brownish Silk Fabric.

46 ) Velvet - Soft Piled Fabric of Silk.

47 ) Local Names given by traditional Weavers are other weaves a secret in family.

The Scion of The Mysore Maharaja has his hobby of Silk Weaving and has his own traditional Weaving Machines.He even designs and sells his fabrics in a seperate place Located in his PALACE in MYSORE & BANGALORE under the name &Style as THE ROYAL HOUSE OF SILK. Public are allowed in these PALACES to buy his fabrics designed and patented by the Royals since over 300 years.A 5.5 Meter Cloth may Cost even up to Rs.5,00,000 called as SAREE for Lady's.

Use of TWISTS :-

1 - We have a vertical sheet of silk threads called Warp.

2 - We then have a set of these sheets of threads taken up and another set held down.

3 - This process is known as Shed Opening.

4 - When the Shed is opened immediately a thread called Weft goes in between these sheets.

5 - As the thread that goes horizontally to the end of the sheet of threads the shed closes.

6 - Immediately a set of steel reeds on a frame in which the silk threads pass beats up and goes back.

7 - Now a single thread is held vertically in thousands and horizantally only one.

8 - The Number of threads that goes like this horizantally is fixed and called Picks / inch.

9 - The Number of threads that are in place vertically called warp is fixed called Ends / Inch.

10 - All vertical threads must have Twist but in Silk we need not have to have Twist the queen needs no twist in some cases.


1 - Silk Crape Saree - Warp has 26/28 D - Silk Yarn and Weft will be 2ply 26/28 D with 'S' twist and 'Z' twist yarns used twice as weft alternatively.The TWIST in this case will be 2200 TPM - Twist per Meter.300 ends per inch,120's reed,100 picks per inch,119 cms width,3 ends per heald,6ends per dent and 1/2 inch Selvedge on either side.

2 - Silk Shirting - Warp is 20 / 22 Denier single yarn with 600 Twist per meter for 'S' Twist and 700 Twist per meter for 'Z' Twist 2 ply - 'S' and 'Z' Twist yarns are alternately drawn in the weap & Weft is 20/22 Denier 3 ply Tram with "S' Twist with 400 Twist per meter & the Reed will be 120's with 2 ends per dent and Picks will be 104 Picks per inch. and weft is 2/2/80's.

3 - The Silk Yarn is Soaked in Soap and coconut oil with a predetermined time and the all the water from the Silk is removed in a Hydro Extractor and is dried in shade.A Tinting color is used for identification at further stages on Silk yarn used with different source and Twisted..

4 - The Yarn after drying is wound on small spools and than to regulor Hank form of 54 inch dia.This yarn is now given a Twist at this stage and Twist is set at 400 Twists per meter for 'S' Twist and 400 Twist per meter for 'Z' Twist.The Barral Bobbins to Bobbins is thus given a Twist of 800 Twist per meter.

5 - A Second Twist of 1800 Twist per meter is again given and wound as 5 deg cones and is now taken for the next process.

6 - Twist Setting - This is done in a vacuum Chamber with automatic settings to Set the Twist so that there is no snarling in further process.

7 - This Yarn is used as weft which is of 25/28 Denier with 2200 Twist per Meter of Silk Yarn taken to Weaving.

'D' is Denier - A unit of fiber fineness assessed by the weight in grams of 9000 meters of silk yarn;

The lower the number the finer is the Silk yarn.

One Silk Cocoon is having 2.75 Denier, that is it has 9000 x 2.75 meters long Silk thread which is 24,750 meters long Silk Thread.

Silk farmers bring Silk Cocoons to Silk Reeling and sell it or Silk Reelers get Silk Cocoons from the place where it is sold in open Market set exclusively for the benifit to farmers.The Silk Cocoons are to be sorted for :-

1 - Double Cocoons.

2 - Inferior Cocoons.

3 - Cut Cocoons - all 3 items are sorted out and than good Cocoons are sent to Cocoon Boiling Machine which can Boil as required and give up to 700 Kg of Boiled Cocoons per hour.

The next process is the Reeling Zone where Cocoons are reeled as per Denier required and that is by the Denier Indicator the required Denier is made in to small Spools.

The small spools are treated with Turkey Red Oil and taken to a Vacuum Chamber and taken out after 15 minutes.Each Cocoon has 17 to 18 % Silk this is known as Cell Ratio.

The small spools are than converted to Hank form on Silk Reeling Machines.

The Reeled silk is made in to a hank of 120 gms of Silk which is dressed to remove the Swift Marks and than Packed in bags of 20 Kg and sent for Weaving.The Silk is tested for Shell content.

A 17 % Silk contained in the Cocoon is good Cocoon.

Weaving Preparation.

The Silk received from Silk Reeling has no twist,multiple machines are used to process Silk received from Reeling.They are as under:-

1 - The 20 Kg Bags are opened and they are Soaked in Textile Soap - 3% and Coconut water is 7% rest is water and taken in Batches for a set period ( Warp for 20 minutes& Weft for 4 Hours ) and then removed in a hydro extractor, the silk is given tinting color for identification in further process as to the nature for which it is to be used.

2 - The Weft yarn has to be twisted as such it is made in to a package on parallel shaped bobbins and Twist is inserted in the next Winding Machine,while inserting the Twist in the first stage the yarn of 26.28 Denier is doubled with 400 Twist per Meter in 'S' direction and these will be of say Orange Color.The blue tinted Silk will be given 'Z' Twist.These Twisted yarns will have to be Twisted again in the next machine with 1800 Twist per meter.The final yarn Twist will be 200 Twist per meter.

3 - Such high Twist will tend to snarl if it is not set.They are therefore Twist Set in a Twisting Machine Under Vacuumed Pressure a special machine for this use only.

4 - These Bobbins are now taken to another machine and wound in a Bobbin of required size for use as Weft.

5 - The Weft yarn is now of two colors which are used as per required specifications.The Weft yarn that flies horizontally in the Weaving Machine is NOW READY.

Now it is how the Vertical Yarn in the fabric which is termed as Warp is made.

The Back End of a Warping Machine.


Warping of Silk Yarn.

The back end of a silk warping machine called as Creel is shown in the picture above and the front end of the machine called as Head Stock is shown below.Silk yarn wound on Tubes or Cones is creeled on the Creel and the open ends as required is drawn and wound on a Beam which holds this sheet of threads of silk is rolled over the empty beam up to the required length and then it is mounted on the back end of the weaving machine which turns out woven cloth after the weft is inserted in the sheet of silk yarn that comes out from the Beam of silk threads on the beam at the back end of the weaving machine as per required speeds from the back end.

The Front End of a Warping Machine.

Silk Reeling Machine.

Boiled Cocoons for Reeling.

Cocoon Boiling Machine.

These are dammaged Cocoons sorted out.

Boiled Cocoons coming out of the Machine.

Boiled Cocoons near Reeling Machine.

Reeled Silk.

Rewinding Reeled Silk.

The Final Reeling of Silk yarn with out Twist.

The Silk in Hank form ready for Weaving.

Silk in Bags for transportation.

The Silk Weaving Machine.

Feast for the Eyes SILK.

More Silk - More Happy.

Still More Silk Fabrics.

Silk & Gold - The Saree for the Bride a must. Rs.1,00,000 each

Another pleasing View.



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    • skgrao profile image

      S K G Rao. 5 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

      The open end of Cocoons 24 Cocoons is picked up by the skilled Reeler ( This is a skill )and it is tied to the Reel at the place appointed for it and Reeled.Please visit a Silk Reeling Factory.There are many in Bangalore.

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 6 years ago from Northern California

      After the cocoon is cleaned how do you get it onto the reels? Does it have long fibers which are pulled or do you just somehow unwind the already spun fiber? I used to be a weaver and did some hand spinning too. Thanks for the very informative hub!

    • skgrao profile image

      S K G Rao. 6 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

      If one cocoon weighs 2.75 grams and if one denier is the weight of of 9000 meters of silk filament in one gram than what is the length of the silk filament in one cocoon.

      Please check up or comment if I am wrong.Please also be informed that every cocoon does not weigh 2.75 gms and the reeler does not reel one cocoon only.I like to be corrected by you Mr.siraj uddin.

    • profile image

      siraj uddin 6 years ago

      I dont think your calculation is right.9000x2.75=---mts of silk filament in one single cocoon.cant be?please correct it.

      If that is the length we are getting in one single cocoon then imagine how lucky the reeler would be.

    • profile image

      Dupion Silk manufacturers 6 years ago

      Khoday Silk Streams from Bangalore, India take pride in introducing ourselves as the leading manufacturers, exporters,supplier and wholesaler of an exclusive collection of Home Furnishing Silk Fabrics and made-ups such as Pure Silk Fabrics, Dupion Silk Fabric, Tafetta silk fabrics, Satin Silk fabric, Checks, cotton/silk fabrics, viscose/silk fabrics, Chiffon silk fabrics, Organza fabrics, georgette in India.

    • skgrao profile image

      S K G Rao. 7 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

      This Mill is open to public visits free from 9AM to 4 PM