The sericulture involves a large scale of interdependent technologies from which results different by-products and waste. Those ones are turned into new commercial products with a high useful value. By-products and waste resulted in the silk cocoon processing are used in textile, pharmaceutical cosmetics, food and feed industries as precipitant jellies, atomized or lyophilized.
Sericulture, or silk farming, is the cultivation of silkworms to produce silk. Although there are several commercial species of silkworms, Bombyx mori (the caterpillar of the domesticated silk moth) is the most widely used and intensively studied silkworm.
It is an economically very important insect, being a primary producer of silk.
Today the silkworm ranks with the honeybee as one of the world’s most profitable domestic insects. The silkworm caterpillar builds its cocoon by producing and surrounding itself with a long, continuous fibre, or filament.
The Black, Caspian Seas and Central Asia Silk Association (BACSA), based in North-West part of Bulgaria is keeping the sericulture genetic fund for many silkworm and mulberry varieties. One of the big advantages for our Project for sustainable sericulture development is the availability of comparatively rich mulberry and silkworm genetic resources and their possible development by using the modern methods of genetics and breeding.
Silkworm cocoons have evolved a wide range of different structures and combinations of physical and chemical properties in order to cope with different threats and environmental conditions. They protect silkworms as firstly a hard shell, secondly a microbe filter and thirdly as a climate chamber. The structure and morphology of the cocoons are far more important than the material properties of the silk fibers themselves.