Mai Thuong Silkworm Village – Bac Giang

Mai Thuong Silkworm Village is situated in Mai Dinh Commune, Hiep Hoa district, Bac Giang province, about one hour drive from Hanoi. In the village, if any households do not incubate silkworm cocoons, they plant mulberry trees to raise silkworms. Raising silkworms is one of the key steps to create the qualified cocoon drying baskets.

Planting mulberry trees and raising silkworms require constant attention of the farmers who are as busy as they are in period of caring babies; therefore, only family with regularly available labor can do this job.

Raising silkworms is the most important process deciding capacity and quality of silk and cocoon product as well as economic benefits of this mulberry tree cultivating and silkworm breeding craft. It requires strict time schedule and procedure, gentle labor with high technique. By the silkworms undergo mature stage with 4 sleeping periods; they begin to eat fast and a lot.

According to experience of silkworm breeders, in order that silkworms release silk, cocoons, after their sleeping periods, we have to feed silkworms every 2 hours. Another important stage is that when the golden silkworms are harvested, it is essential to quickly move to dry places to spin into cocoons to avoid eye irritation.

In addition, the final stage to have quality products is when silkworms are turning into cocoons, farmers have to “sunbathe” and “dry” cocoons in order to get dry, aromatic cocoons that do not dissolve when unwinding the silk thread.

Mulberry planting – silkworm rearing – cocoon storing is a harmonious and inseparable cohesion; yellow silkworms only eat mulberry leaves and only those release the bright yellow, smooth and cool silk.

Thuong Mai villagers know that better than any others so they pay great attention to planting mulberry tree stage. Mulberry leaves must be clean and grown far from the pipe tobacco, peppers and other crops fields to ensure silk quality.

Currently, Hop Thinh has more than 1,400 households doing sericulture in the area of over 40 hectares. People here cannot remember when this “stand to eat” job started. Over the ups and downs, sometimes seemed to be oblivious, but the local people still stick to preserving traditional craft inherited from their forefathers.

Ninh Tao hamlet is a place with the largest area planted mulberry trees in the commune. Almost households in the village breed silkworms with the quantity from some to tens broad flat-drying baskets. Along with Ninh Tao hamlet, some riverside hamlets like Da Hoi, Dong Dao, Ninh Huong with silt mudflats of Cau River remains sericulture not only because the land here is very suitable for mulberry trees and but also because this job has brought prosperity to many households along Cau River.

From the alluvial silts along the dike of Cau River with green mulberry fields to the hamlet roads with the bright yellow cocoon baskets that makes the prosperity for the people and land here. In modern life, though there are a lot of materials and technology to create garment products but the ones made from raw silk are still popular to domestic and foreign consumers.

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