Barth & Könenkamp Seiden - since 1885
3,000 cocoons are needed to make a pound of silk. Each cocoon yields 1000 yards of silk filament, known as raw silk, or silk-in-the gum, fiber.
Degumming is the process of removing the sericin, or silk gum, from silk. Removing the gum improves the sheen, color, hand, and texture of the silk. Because the gum can serve as a protective layer, it is typically left on the silk until it is ready to dye. Today most dyes are chemical although a lac (insect) dye was once used as well as plant dyes.
In some cases, the fabric is woven to completion, and then degummed, to protect the yarn from abrasion on the loom.
Note: most commercial silk yarns are sold fully degummed, but some dyers still prefer to degum it again to make sure before dyeing.
Mostly several filaments are combined to form a yarn. As fibers are combined and wrapped into the reel, twist can be added to hold the filaments together.
Single filaments are drawn from cocoons in water bowls and combined to form yarn. This yarn is drawn under tension through several guides and eventually wound onto reels. The yarn is dried, packed according to quality and is now raw silk ready for marketing.