I took a couple of pictures out the window of the van on the way to the silk factory. There are more apartment buildings in Beijing than I ever thought possible. The population is staggering.
Life cycle of a silk worm:
The silk is from the cocoon of the silk worm- it is spun in one continuous strand and measures 1- 1.5km long(nearly a mile!).
The silk has to be unwound from the cocoon- either by hand or by machine. Then many strands have to be twisted together to form one single piece of silk thick enough for making things.
Here is what the pupa looks like after the cocoon is removed.
Here is layers of cocoons just stretched out instead of unwound- it is turned into a comforter.
And here is a loom!
We learned a lot here and it was extremely interesting. The kids really enjoyed it. We then walked next door to a delicious lunch- it was actually one of our favorite meals in Beijing!