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• Degumming of silk cocoon
Degumming is an essential process of removing Sericin, a sticky liquid secreted by caterpillars in a pupating phase. As this protein forms almost 25% of raw silk's total weight, its removal becomes mandatory. For this purpose, the cocoons are first steamed. Steaming helps loosen up the silk from the cocoon while the caterpillar dies inside the cocoon. Later these cocoons are again soaked in warm water, to degum the cocoon, making it easy to extract the silk.
An artisan with a collection of multiple silk baves starts the reeling process. Here the baves are set through a mechanical machine to produce a single thread. Approximately 200gms of pure silk can be reeled from 1kg of cocoon. Merchants from Chintamani, often weigh and sell these reeled yarns to dealers in Bengaluru.