Silk Worm Cocoons
After the worms are transferred to their new trays, they start to spin a cocoon around themselves.This takes six to seven days. By the 10th day it will be too late for our purposes, as the worm will change into a moth and break out of the cocoon. The damaged cocoon can no longer become reeled silk. It is now only suitable for being spun into noil silk, which is a much lower grade.
After the seventh day the cocoons are collected from the tray and put in a pot of boiling water so that they can be reeled by hand.This process is called "saomai" in Thai.
The person who does this must have a great deal of experience so that they can produce a high quality yarn. Every cocoon has different amounts of yarn. The silk filaments range in length from 400 to 1,350 yards on average.
The cocoons are stirred once with a bamboo stick to separate them. Then, one by one, the cocoons are picked up by hand and the end of the silk is threaded onto a bamboo fork. The cocoon is dropped back into the boiling water, and the silk hand reeled into a basket.