Silky and Strong! With a fuzzy texture and a range of natural shades, this silk is unlike any other. Perfect for hand spinning, blending with other fibers, and using for knit, crochet, and woven projects. You'll love how effortlessly this silk spins and how comfortable it feels against the skin.
A very unique and diverse type of silk is produced across parts of Asia and India from one of the largest species of moths in the world, the Ailanthus silkworm or Sami cynthia moth. The domesticated species feeds on leaves of the "tree of the gods" aka Ailanthus as well as the Ficus, and Castor bean plants in order to produce its prized silk, which ranges in natural color from white to gold to red. In contrast to mulberry (bombyx) silk, which produces cocoons in one continuous strand, these cocoons are built in fragments as the silkworm stops to rest throughout the spinning process. The shorter lengths of silk prevent them from being reeled like mulberry silk and are thus carded and spun like cotton or wool. Unlike other types of silk, Eri silk has a fuzzy texture because it has less Sericin, a protein that protects the silk and helps it hold together.
In order to be carded and spun, the tough cocoons have to undergo a process called degumming, which removes this glue-like protein. This process exposes the silk to high temperatures and soaps causing the bright red color to fade to gold, cream, or beige. In general, the lighter the color of Eri silk, the more Seracin was removed. The silk is extremely durable, has a slight luster, and beautiful natural color that shouldn't fade or transfer with normal washing and wearing. The color can be affected by extremely high temperatures and harsh soaps/chemicals, so it's recommended to test the fibers first before washing/wearing.