Cassie Dickson presented her work with silk – from eggs, to worms, to cocoons, silk and moths all made possible by careful tending and a prodigious amount of Mulberry leaves. Cassie shared some of the history of the silk industry from 3000 years of a closely held secret in China to production in early America.
Here’s a formula to illustrate what it takes to make the silk fabric we take somewhat for granted:
1000 silk worms + 50 pounds of fresh, scrubbed Mulberry Tree leaves = silk fiber to make 1 blouse
Don’t have a Mulberry Tree nearby? Silk worm suppliers make Silkworm Chow…
Equal parts biology and beauty, Cassie shared her decades long love of Sericulture. Clockwise from the upper left corner: natural died hand spun silk embroidery thread, silk shapes made by confining worms to a circular flat plane, close ups of silk hankies (stretched cocoons) and spun fiber.
Below, the stars of the show, silkworms on a bed of their one and only food source – Mulberry leaves. These worms have been bred to eat and spin silk, period. The entire process from egg to cocoon is about 2 months.