SERICULTURE IN INDIA
- Silkworm larvae are fed on mulberry leaves and after the fourth molt, they climb a twig placed near them and spin their silken cocoons.
- The silk is a continuous-filament fibre consisting of fibroin protein, secreted from two salivary glands in the head of each larva, and a gum called sericin, which cements the two filament together.
- The sericin is removed by placing the cocoons in hot water, which frees silk filaments and readies them for reeling.
- The immersion of cocoons in hot water also kills the silkworm larvae.
- In India, silk worms thrive on the leaves of mulberry, mahua, sal, ber, and kusum trees. India ranks third among the silk producing countries of the world.
- Silk production is mainly confined to areas between 15° and 34° N latitudes.
- The state of Karnataka is the largest producer of raw silk (65°/o) followed by Andhra Pradesh (17%) West Bengal (8°/o), Tamil Nadu (5°/o), and Assam (3%).