- Chinese Tussur Moth, yearly and producing a soft flossy cocoon; the Chinese monthly worm, B.
The eria or arrindi moth of Bengal and Assam, Attacus ricini, which feeds on the castor-oil plant, yields seven generations yearly, forming loose flossy orange-red and sometimes white cocoons.
As the outer flossy threads and the inner vests are not reelable, it is difficult to estimate the total length of thread produced by the silkworm, but the portion reeled varies in length and thickness, according to the condition and robustness of the cocoon, in some breeds giving a result as low as Soo metres, and in others 900 to 1200 metres.
According to the qualities of raw silk used and the throwing operations undergone the principal classes of thrown silk are - (1) " singles," which consist of a single strand of twisted raw silk made up of the filaments of eight to ten cocoons; (2) tram or weft thread, consisting of two or three strands of raw silk not twisted before doubling and only lightly spun (this is soft, flossy and comparatively weak); (3) organzine, the thread used for warps, made from two and rarely three twisted strands spun in the direction contrary to that in which they are separately twisted.
Scouring renders all common silks, whether white or yellow in the raw, a brilliant pearly white, with a delicate soft flossy texture, from the fact that the fibres which were agglutinated in reeling, being now degummed, are separated from each other and show their individual tenuity in the yarn.
Hard, firm and compact shells with some straggling flossy filaments on the exterior, and the interior layers are so closely and densely agglutinated as to constitute a parchment-like mass which resists all attempts at unwinding.