For the rest of you, I purchased some silk cocoons a couple of months ago. I got a kilogram. I know it would be a lot, but I didn't realise that it would be about two grocery bags full! I now have a lot of cocoons to experiment with! I gave a few away to one of the graduating students that expressed an interest in them but still have plenty left.
Last month I led a silk scarf dyeing workshop for which I mixed the dyes ahead of time. I wasn't sure which colours people would like, and I knew that I had at least 9 people and I wanted to make sure that no one ran out. I mixed way too much dye. There was a lot left over.
So dyed some warps and wefts. Enough for 16 scarves. And still there was dye left over!
I dyed some soy silk and still there was dye left over!
So I searched around for something else to dye and found my cocoons! I dumped them straight in the bottles of dyes and added some of the dye fixative and shook. No pictures of this because my gloves were covered in dye by this time. The silk scarves need to sit for 5 days. I let my cocoons sit for 2 before realizing that they looked really dark. It was hard to distinguish the black from the green from the purple. The red was easy too pick out. I dried them out and they sat.
Then I did my residency in the very humid museum where I had my cocoons on display. Then I packed them up is a Ziploc bag and came home.
Bad idea as it turned out.
About a week later I was digging through my stuff and found my bag of cocoons. And they were MOLDY! ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH! I brought them out side, washed them in the bag with the hose several times and decided that they must be dealt with right away. Grrrrrr.
Into the dye pot they went with some sythropol and baking soda. And they simmered for a while. And it smelled kind of gross.
|Cocoons being rinse. they smell much better now.|
|They little pupa that did all the work. In the you tube videos I watched, the people giving the tours said that you could eat these guys. they were good and full of protein. I think I'll pass.|