Silk Fiber Can Be Used for More Than Making Silk Fabric

Most of you are not “just weavers” or “knitters”. You are artists. Your tool is your hands and heart. You love making anything with your hands. We do too.

At Muezart our office has two floors. Downstairs is an office. Upstairs is where our hands get busy. The Muezart Maker Studio is where a lot happens with our hands. It’s an innovative place. We recently created a solar dryer to dry our hand dyed yarn, roving, and cocoons. We experiment with being environmentally friendly, like improving our packaging or using a rocket stove to save fuel and burn wood economically. You would love visiting us.

Right now, we are excited about experimenting with all the things we can make and use Eri silk fiber and cocoons. These are some of the experiments on our list.

Get Inspired And Make With Silk Fiber

All of us know that Silk fiber is used to create silk fabric – a fabric that is admired for its softness, beauty and durability. But,  

Did you know that silk cocoons are good for the skin? That they can arrest ageing related changes? 

Did you know that silk fiber is a good source for your needle felting projects? 

Have you tried making paper with silk – not something you can write on, but use for artwork or to embellish your clothing? 

Here’s 2 New Ones You May Not Know:

  1. Spin yarn directly from silk cocoon cakes.
  2. Spin yarn from and silk hankies without a spindle and use that for knitting or weaving. Want to know more?

We Have Curated 6 Uses of Silk Fiber and Cocoons That You May Want to Try Your Hand At.

  1. How to make Silk Paper using silk fiber.
  2. How to use silk cocoons as an anti-ageing scrub.
  3. How to make silk yarn from silk hankies.
  4. How to needle felt with silk fiber.
  5. How to make silk yarn from cocoon hankies.
  6. How to spin yarn directly from a silk cocoon cakes.

Before we tell you more about the DIY projects with silk fiber, let us recap.

What is Silk Fiber?

Silk fiber is a natural fiber produced by silkworms when they reach a stage where they spin a cocoon around themselves to hibernate and metamorphose as moths

The cocoon is the first stage of the silk fiber – the first look we get at something that will become silk fiber and silk yarn. The silk fiber is the material the cocoons are made up of. 

Mulberry silk fiber is from a variety of silkworm called Bombyx Mori and forms 90% of all commercial silk. This silk is processed in large scale.  In Mulberry silk production the silkworms are killed before they turn into a moths,  by boiling the cocoons in water, with life inside it. 

Eri silk fiber is from a variety of silkworm called Samia Ricini. The Eri silk fiber sold by Muezart is totally processed by hand, by village women who depend on this cottage industry for supplemental income. Eri silk fiber is much sought after by conscious, ‘slow fashion’ designers.

The cocoons are processed for silk after the moth flys out, or after the caterpillar is removed.

Where Does The Silk Fiber Come From?

Little yuck! Silk fiber is the saliva of the silkworm. It is a wonder of nature. The silkworms become caterpillars, which processes the food they eat (mulberry silkworms eat mulberry leaves and Eri silkworms eat castor leaves) and generate yards of uniform fiber that they exude from their mouths. They use this fiber to build a place for themselves to hibernate in, till they transform into moths. These special ‘houses’ are called cocoons.

Silkworm is the world’s best weaver! Using self-generated material, using the energy it has gained within its short life span, using a divine given skill, it weaves a beautiful cocoon.

What is The Chemical Composition of Silk Fiber?

Just as it is for wool and cotton fibers, silk fiber too consists of protein. Two proteins to be exact – fibroin (the central part of the fiber) and sericin (the sticky material which is the outer layer of the silk fiber). Fibroin is insoluble in hot water, while sericin is soluble. Fibroin forms 75% of the protein content.

Here are interesting 5 things you can do with silk fiber and silk cocoons.


Silk is by nature a soft-feel fiber,  which turns into a soft-feel fabric. Silk fiber can be used to make silk paper. In a way the silk paper will be more like a fabric than what you may consider paper. We have curated for you two ways of making silk paper.

Isobel Hall – how to make handmade paper with silk

All you need is degummed, flattened silk cocoons, baking parchment paper, an iron, and a water sprayer. If the cocoon you buy has not been degummed then you can follow these simple instructions.

  1. Remove the short fibers clinging to the outside of the cocoons
  2. Remove any skin from the larva stage – these will be inside the cocoons.
  3. Boil water with a good amount of soap – use natural soap and not a detergent. Simmer the liquid with the cocoons for half an hour.
  4. Rinse in water to which a little vinegar is added
  5. Squeeze out and let it dry. Once it dries you should be able to pull the fibers out. If this is not happening, then you need to repeat the degumming process.

The plain vanilla silk paper made with silk fiber can be colored the way you want and used as the base for painting or made into a bag or as a cover for a book etc. Check it out for yourself.

Here is another way you can make silk paper. Follow the  step by step instructions in Erica Spinks’ blog post. The artist uses silk top. Remember you can start with any silk fiber – even plain Eri silk fiber and dye them using natural dye as we do in Muezart.

Or, you can use the plain Eri silk fiber, or cocoon too, and follow this method of making silk paper. You can then use good quality fabric paint to color the silk paper piece by mixing and matching colors.  Eri silk fiber will absorb the colors very well.

When you use the cocoon remember to pull and stretch the fiber in the cocoon to create thin layers. BTW, our cocoons are pre-washed, i.e. De-gummed.   

This artist uses a few more material than what you see in the earlier method of making silk paper. You will see the artist, Erica, mentioning ‘Tulle’. It is nothing but a netting material like what you see in the image below.


Ways You Can Use Silk Paper:

There are innumerable ways in which you can use silk paper – for three-dimensional sculpture, jewelry, book covering, collage, quilting etc. You can even make a creative patch and tack it on to your favorite cushion cover, a stole or a dress.


Frances shares with us her experiment using silk cocoons to improve the texture of her skin on her face and how it worked! In fact, a dermatologist and a cosmetic specialist confirm to her that sericin that gives cocoons their stickiness is a rich protein full of amino acids and has healing properties.

It looks like this beauty tip was known to the Chinese and Japanese for centuries. What made women make the connection between silk cocoons and youthful skin was when it was noticed that the hands of women extracting silk from cocoons were smoother, with fewer wrinkles.

Safimex company has supplying Silkworm cocoon with a good price for bulk order. If you are interested in this product, please feel free to contact us at or click at

Source: Muaz art


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