Peach and Gold

These are cocoons from eggs that a friend of mine sent me last season. They are a variety of Bombyx mori, the classic silkworm – but they throw

There are some classic white cocoons mixed in here, along with the cocoons from this brood – you can see the really bright white in the middle and bottom right. The white cocoons from this strain are a slightly creamy white, and have a distinct constriction around the middle.

I’ve separated them for color, and I’m breeding to see if I can get brighter shades of them by selective breeding.

These are the peachiest ones. The color has a lot of gold to it, but there’s a rosy pink shade too. They’re a neat complicated color.

These are the gold shade. The colors are on a continuum, so it was kind of arbitrary where I decided to call it “gold” – but we’ll see if I can get a strain that will tend to more yellow through breeding.

For some reason, the only shot that I could get that shows the color of these two together, is in the ziplok bags. Putting them in piles on a towel, on the counter, etc., I kept getting weird color problems, focus issues, etc. Anyway, you can see what the colors look like, and how the range goes.

A close up on the peach ones.

The silk of these cocoons will be colored on the reel, but will lose its color after degumming to yield white silk; the color is all in the sericin. I’m working on a fermentation degumming that will leave some of the color on them.

0 replies
  1. geodyne
    geodyne says:

    These are amazing…the colour is in the gum then?

    Please do keep up posted on this, because a naturally coloured silk would be a marvelous thing to play with.

    This actually makes me wonder whether the cake dye experiment the Chinese have been playing with will actually affect the end product.

  2. admin
    admin says:

    Yeah, the color on these is in the gum. I do know that some Thai silks utilize the natural color, which in that case is a bright yellow – I don’t know how they go about softening the silk, though. I’ve found that fermentation degumming does work, although I’ve only tried it on whole cocoons so far.

    I think that the dyes fed to the silkworms will be stable, just based on the nature of the dye – this is a more fugitive color, while I’m sure that’s some kind of acid dye. We’ll see!

  3. admin
    admin says:

    Yup, still making soap, although I’ve been slower on that front lately. I’ve got good stores of several of the varieties stocked on the shelves, if you’re needing a refill! I made big batches of peppermint-clove, peppermint-patchouli, Orange Blossom, Patchouli, Vanilla, Yellow Rose, Lavender.

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    dear Oakening

    Your pictures are marvellous. Your efforts on the silk front are appreciable.Could u tell me where u got the Peach colour variety from? is thye starin Bivoltine?
    Vincent
    chettan2006@yahoo.com

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