Turning cocoon into silk rope for five generations
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Producer Hasan Büyükaşık says they get a nearly 1,700-meter-long silk rope from one cocoon and color them using meddar. AA photos
Hasan Büyükaşık, a local of the southeastern province of Hatay, has been recently been getting involved with his father’s business of producing silkworm with traditional methods. Büyükaşık, 78, produces silk products in his garden facility with his wife and children, and exports them to countries from the U.S. to China.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Büyükaşık said silkworm producers began working every spring, when berry trees begin to blossom. He said they put the cocoon on a ground and that worms are born after a 19-day incubation period.
Then worms begin to spin the cocoon and finish it in 10 days. “It is a super naturalistic thing. Some worms remain in the cocoon that they spin and some leave it. We put the cocoons that are in a good condition in hot water and try to get the ropes from it with the help of a specially made broom. We can get a nearly 1,700-meter-long silk rope from one cocoon, then we process it and get colorful ropes using madder. These valuable ropes turn into dresses, scarves or sheets,” Büyükaşık said.
He said that when he was a child there was always a furnace in the garden of every house but that this is now history because of developing technology. “I am in love with this business. It has been continued in my family for five generations and I have never left it,” he said.
Despite modern technology, Büyükaşık’s business has always used traditional methods in the garden of his house. His eight children and wife also work with him to produce the silk. “In the past, I used to weave the silks at a bench in the garden of my house. We have improved our business over time and established a big facility next to my house. Along with my eight children and wife, I also employ nine people. Overall, we have produced ropes from nearly six tons of cocoons. We hope this year will be even more productive,” he said.
Büyükaşık said they sold most of their products in Turkey, although they exported 20 percent of their products to foreign countries, from the U.S., to Italy, and China.