My children have played with beautiful playsilks since they were little babies. Silks have been capes for knights, pretty table cloths for tea with fairies, butterfly wings. They truly are the most versatile of all playthings.
Imagine how amazed my children were when I told them that the silk they play with comes from worms! They didn’t believe me. OK, I said, let’s raise silkworms and you’ll see.
We started with a bunch of eggs. It was fascinating to see them hatch in to teeny tiny little worms, as small as a pencil mark on a piece of paper.
We scoured the neighborhood for a large mulberry tree and brought home some mulberry leaves for our silkworms. They ate and ate and we found ourselves visiting the mulberry tree more and more often. They grew huge! As fat as our fingers.
Then one day, a worm started to spin itself a cocoon. Beautiful white thread… Silk, I said!
A week or so later, we were delighted to find that a moth had emerged from a cocoon. A beautiful white moth, with the sweetest little face. They are such peaceful creatures… they don’t fly away! But, if they get on your nose, they tickle!
We explored the cocoon. Soft and fluffy on the outside but really strong on the inside… wow, all this spun from a worm!
People unravel the cocoon to use the fine silk threads to weave into silk.
We cut a cocoon open… to find a chrystalis inside… along with a little shriveled up skin of worm.
We have watched our moths mate and lay hundreds of eggs. We are eager to see how long it takes for them to hatch.
Isn’t nature amazing!!
If you want to raise silkworms in your own home, you can buy the eggs online… Google ‘silkworm eggs’. Have fun.
Here’s a Discovering Waldorf article from the archives on the Magic Of Playsilks.
Blessings and magic,