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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.

No comments yet to Peach and Gold

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • I am always amazed at your silk posts.

  • that really is amazing. gorgeous colours.

  • mmmm — cheetos!

    are you still making soap?

  • 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.

  • OK, great. I’ll be in town the weekend of June 18th. I’ll let you know for sure.

  • Anonymous

    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?

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