What is Sericulture

What is Sericulture? Sericulture is the production of silk by rearing Silkworm. Silk is the fanciest gift of nature but its commercial production, management, and control is a very difficult job. This requires manpower in bulk and technical guidance. Improved race of Bombyx Mori free from any disease along with a good nutritive and sufficient supply of Mulberry plantation is the only criterion for the sericulture industry.


What are the accessories and equipment required for Sericulture?

  • Machans: A proper place and easily approachable heights over Mulberry branches.
  • Rearing Trays: For keeping the fully mature Caterpillar ready for pupation.
  • Dallas or Baskets: For the collection of Mulberry leaves.
  • Chopping knife (Ganasa):  For cutting Mulberry leaves into smaller pieces.
  • Several baskets: For distributing Mulberry leaves.
  • Hygrometer: For reading the percent of humidity in the atmosphere.
  • Thermometer: For ascertaining room temperature.
  • Oven: For the regulation of various stages of the life cycle at different temperatures.
  • Freeze: For storing the seeds (eggs) for the next generation.

From among a number of developing races, the most suitable race should be brought to selection in accordance with the locality and environmental conditions.


Mulberry is a deciduous tree of medium size of family Moraceae. It is the most suitable one for the rearing of Silkworm. The species are:

Morus Alba - Locally, known toot or tootri, and is widely in use for rearing the silkworm and fruits.

Morus Indica - Locally, known shahtoot. It is also suitable for the rearing of silkworm and fruits.

As per the existing climatic condition, suitable varieties of Mulberry plants may be planted. Loam type of soil without bricks or stone pieces in the best for a good crop of Mulberry plant. The soil should be of neutral PH.

In the month of December and May, seeds of Mulberry sown. The seedling grows rapidly which can be transferred in the desired specified preselected area of environmental suitability. Seedbeds should have a mixture of Ash lime and white arsenic. In the month of July and August, the plant twigs cut into pieces of 20 to 25 cm in length having 2 to 3 cm thickness. The cut pieces plant in slanting position in the pits of 50 * 50 * 50 cm size provided with 1 kg sugar-phosphate, 30gm B.H.C. and 25 kg of farm manure.

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Good Plantation requires plantation during December and January and July weekly irrigation and proper manuring.

What is Rearing of Silkworm?

Rearing of silkworm does not mean only the feeding of Caterpillar as often understood. But it is continuous care from egg lying through aestivation, hibernation, incubation early-stage larval care to the production of the cocoon. So for the proper and stepwise study of rearing one should proceed with grainage technology.

What is Grainage management?

The establishment of grainage is to provide good quality of the seed to rearers and maintenance of the original quality of races. For this purpose, the crop needs due care of the silkworm for seed production. From the very beginning, that is the Caterpillar stage, providing them with proper nutrition and protection from the attack of diseases. Keeping these points in view initial selection is on the basis of the percentage of dead pupae during normal development. Firstly, the selection of seed is by separating out cocoon and the next selection in the grainage.

After fine selection, the cocoon subjects to see separation by cutting one end of the cocoon either manually or through Nagahara (in Japan ). Cocoon openers for the production of commercial eggs. A loose form of Cocoon comes in use and collective mother examination is either through mass pebrine detecting machine or general microscopic observation. they then keep it for man emergence.

Life Cycle of Silkworm

Emergence of moth and fertilization in Silkworm

When kept for emergence at room temperature, the mass emergence of adults takes place as per their nature. Just after emergence, male moths start moving around the female. If not separated at once, in cages, males start copulating with the female. Mating from the males of the same stock is useless for the seed so the males and females just after emergence have to be separated into separate cages without their mating. Now one female of one lot with a male of another lot at once forms a pair. Copulate for about three hours. After completion of mating, males should separate and may be used for the fertilization of other females. Now fertilized females subject to egg-laying.

Egg-laying in Silkworm

Just after fertilization female starts egg-laying and in the duration of 24 hours it completes the egg-laying process. Female dies after egg-laying. These eggs are the seeds. These eggs in a sterilizing tray store at 4° C.

Hatching in Silkworm

This is an important phase of the sericulture industry because as soon as the larva hatch they start feeding voraciously so only those sericulturists who will be able to supply a sufficient amount of Mulberry leaves to the young hatched larvae could perform successful sericulture for proper hatching of seeds. Advanced techniques are developing in which eggs collect and are kept with Mulberry leaves. Working as a stimulant for hatching in Shady places, on a white sheet of paper in insect-proof trays on a stool. For this purpose, the legs of the stool must be in the water so that insects may not scroll and damage the hatching eggs. The group of caterpillars hatching at various stages should keep separate.

Spinning of cocoons

This is the period when the Caterpillar stops feeding and starts to secrete a paste-like substance from the Silk gland. In this condition worms should be pick up and transfer in the spinning trays, in a position of a slope, slanting to the sun for a short period. Within 3 days spinning is over and the cocoon forms and this is the last phase of rearing of the silkworm.

Quality of cocoon

The quality of a cocoon is dependent on the raw silk yield, filament length, reelability,  and splitting.

Marketing of cocoon

The price of the cocoon fix during every season of the rearing. The government, however, sees this price and cocoons get purchase.

Post cocoon processing

Post cocoon processing is the process of obtaining silk thread from the cocoon. This includes stifling and reeling.


Stifling is the killing process of the cocoon. Seri culturists should be careful that before the silkworm emergence, 8 to 10 days old, they select a good-size cocoon for further processing and drop into hot water or subjected to steam or dry heat, sun exposure for 3 days or fumigation. In this way, Pupal or cocoons killed. The Killing of cocoons in boiling water helps in softening. The adhesion of the Silk thread among themselves and loosening of the outer thread to separate, freely fascinating the unbinding of silk threads.

Reeling and spinning

Reeling is the process of removing the thread from the killed cocoon. 4 or  5 free ends of the thread from the cocoon are passed through eyelets and guides to twist into one thread and wound around a large wheel from which gets transfer to spools. Thus the silk on the spool is known as Raw Silk or Reeled Silk. The waste - outer layer or damaged cocoon and threads are separated, teased and then the filaments are spun, this silk is called Spun Silk. The raw silk is further boiled, stretched, purified by acid or fermentation and then carefully washed over, again and again, to bring about the well-known luster on the thread.

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