Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sabahar Silk Factory

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.

3 comments:

lyndsey&kevin said...

Keep em coming!!

alicia said...

I love that place. I was just remembering Dave trying to convince the women to let him use their spinning machines. :)
Next time I will have to buy a scarf for myself!!

Connie said...

Fascinating! Never heard of that place.
I learned something about silk and cotton recently. I have an African friend from Sudan. She says where she comes from, the wealthy live on one side of the road and the poor live on the other side. If a person crosses over to the other side of the road, everyone knows right away because of the type of fabric they are wearing, even though the clothes look basically the same. The wealthy wear cotton and the poor wear silk. I wouldn't have guessed that. Cotton is more expensive there because it is much more comfortable in the warm climate.