How Silk Is Made: Tale of the Moth

How Silk Is Made: Tale of the Moth

  Have you ever wondered what silk is made of?    

   Let's start off with some facts as to when silk was invented and where silk comes from. Ancient Chinese invented silk around the year 2696 BC. Silk then was a big part of Chinese culture, trade and overall economy. According to the legend, Empress His Ling Shi was resting under a mulberry tree in imperial gardens. Legend says that the Empress was sipping her tea, when suddenly a cocoon fell into her tea cup and began to unraveled before her eyes. The ancients of China took the moth, tamed it and put it to work, and in return they are tended for like gentle emperors.

Tale of the Moth

  Imagine, if you will, a life lead in luxury. Imagine every need delicately provided, no desire unmet, no hunger unsated. A forest of soft green leaves upon which to dine, always fresh and crisp, fragrant mulberry. For five thousand years it has been thus, the silkworm and the moth tended for the gifts they provide us.  


  All silk is created by the silk moth Bombyx mori. They are a small downy grey creature, with fluted wings, no more than two or three inches across. A silkworm is simply an infant moth, a small promise of what is possible. They live for two months if cared for with grace, kept in perfect warmth and humidity. Only white mulberry leaves will allow the silkworm to perform its magic, and they eat with focus and determination. After almost two weeks of relentless hunger the worm begins to spin. They lock themselves away to transform, wrapped in silk. Each silkworm spins a single thread a mile long, in the purest of white. Wild silkworms spin brown or even yellow thread, but those worms bred to luxury spin a pure thread without any colour


   Inside the cocoon the moth is reborn. Like the butterfly, the moth has become a symbol of that transformation. Inside its soft cocoon it takes stock of itself. Wrapped in silk it is reborn. Everything in the caterpillar child that no longer serves the adult moth is reshaped. No part of its life is cast aside as useless. Nothing it has learned is lost. It must rely only on what it brought with it to its transformation. Its relentless hungers now show their purpose - the worm is replete with everything it needs to change. Inside its nest of silk the little worm becomes the elegant moth, the sum of its parts and greater than them as well.



   Like the moth, we always have the chance to change and be reborn. We may be the sum of our parts, but we have the power to take the old parts of ourselves and turn them into newer, stronger ways of being. When we are comforted, and wrapped in soft luxury, we have the power to become reborn, using the things we have experienced and the hardships we have survived to build ourselves new wings. Our old hungers and passions can be turned to new beginnings, and rebirth.

   Born at dawn, to a life of two months, their end a gentle cocoon of purest white. Without the moth, we have no silk. They are the honoured genesis of everything we create, and an inspiration for growth and change. We offer to you the gentle strength of the moth, to wrap yourself in its comfort in hardships and give you space to be reborn, powerful, the sum of yourself transformed.


Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published