One of my stops in Addis was the Sabahar Silk Factory. The fabrics are absolutely gorgeous, with so many colors and textures to choose from. By Ethiopian standards the items solid at the factory would likely be considered expensive, but a whopping $10 for a 100% silk scarf seemed pretty fair to me!
The silk is called "eri" silk and is hand spun from the cocoons from eri caterpillars. Eri silk worms are laid as tiny eggs. A few weeks after they are laid, they hatch into tiny worms. For three weeks they continue to grow into fat, two-inch worms. The grown eri silk caterpillars produce white cocoons. After about two weeks, the eri silk worm emerges from the cocoon as a butterfly. The butterflies mate and lay eggs and the cycle begins again.