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What are the different types of silk?

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Quick Answer

Some types of silk are mulberry silk, tasar silk, eri silk, muga silk and anaphe silk. There's also fagara silk, coan silk and mussel silk. Most commercial silk is mulberry silk.There's also spider's silk, but it's so difficult to obtain and expensive to produce that it's not used very often as a textile.

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Full Answer

Like spider's silk, mussel silk isn't produced by an insect but by a bivalve found off the coasts of Dalmatia and Italy. It's collected from the byssus, or beard, of the mussel.

Coan silk is derived from a cocoon of a caterpillar found in Romania and southward to Greece and Turkey. Fagara silk comes from the cocoons of a giant silk moth found in Australia and as far north as China. Anaphe silk is produced by caterpillars from the genus Anaphe, which are found in Africa.

Muga silk comes from the cocoons of caterpillars that are only found in Assam, India. Some caterpillars who produce eri silk are raised on the leaves of the castor oil plant. Tasar silk is the second most produced silk behind mulberry silk. Mulberry silk is created by caterpillars that eat mulberry leaves exclusively.

Silk also can also have different weaves. Silk weaves include chiffon, organza, doupioni, pongee and faille.

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