Did you know that a yard of silk fabric costs around $100?
Since ancient times, silk is a valued commodity. It is a versatile material with remarkable softness, strength, durability, elasticity, and absorbency. It is used in clothing, upholsteries, surgical sutures, beddings, parachutes, etc.
Sericulture is the cultivation of silkworms for harvesting silk. This article will look closer at the impact of sericulture on economy, environment, and society.
High Employment Potential
Although silk has a small part in the global textile market, it still generates massive employment. Sericulture and silk production involves a series of intricate processes that require a lot of workforces. In India alone, it provides 7.9 million jobs.
Fuels Rural Economies
In Thailand, 20,000 weaving families rely on sericulture industries. Data also shows that approximately 57% of the sales on silk fabrics flow back to the growers, generally rural communities. Therefore, sericulture supports the vitality of many villages in various countries.
According to historical documents, Emperor Huang-di’s wife, Lei-Su, taught people silkworm rearing and silk reeling in 2600 B.C. Until today, women play a huge role in the sericulture industry.
Women workers perform different sericulture processes from mulberry garden management, leaf collection, silkworm rearing, cocoon collection, to filament reeling and weaving.
Low Maintenance, High Returns
You can start sericulture with a small parcel of land without hiring massive labour. It’s only essential to know how to take care of the silkworms properly.
Silkworms are also low-maintenance, which make sericulture an ideal project for students. Silkworms need to be fed only 1-2 times a day, reach a maximum length of only 3 inches during their 45-day growing period, and have a short life cycle.
Silkworm as Food
You don’t have to own agricultural land to engage in sericulture. Silkworms can be reared in small boxes with proper ventilation.
The protein content of silkworm surpasses that of pork, beef, and chicken. Because of this, researching is investigating the potential of silkworm pupae as food for space travels.
You can also farm silkworm at home for pet feeding.
According to a home management specialist from Direct Appliance Rentals, “Sericulture can be taken on at home because the silkworms are small and low maintenance. Buying rearing packs from a reliable local supplier is a good way to start. Silkworms are easy to handle because they don’t have sharp appendages and are slow-moving”.
There is growing popularity on skincare products that contain silk cocoon. According to studies, the cocoon’s microfibres slow down collagen breakdown and boost the effects of other ingredients.
The cocoon fibrils are also being studied because they might give more information on preventing Alzheimer’s-causing plaques in the brain.
Do you want to get into silk farming? Find everything that you need to start a career in sericulture at Everything Silkworms.