The CHG February Guild Meeting Program was presented by Cassie Dickson, weaver, spinner, natural dyer and raiser of silk worms!

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.

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