The differences in textile fabrics
To obtain mulberry silk (formerly: cultivated silk), the cocoons are dried when abandoned by the silkworm after they have hatched. In the first step of the processing, the cocoons are softened in a hot alkaline solution in order to loosen the sericin, the silk glue, and to be able to unwind the silk thread. A continuous thread up to 1500 m long can be won from a cocoon (reel silk). From inferior or damaged parts of the cocoon, the short fibers are processed into Schappeseide (spider silk).
The thread of the mulberry silk moth is a very fine and regular fibre, due to five millennia of cultivation. After removing the sericin, the filament (the grège) is nearly white. Fabrics made from mulberry silk have a strong luster, are smooth to the touch and drape soft and supple. They correspond to the usual idea of a silk fabric.
With wild collection or the Ahimsa method, it is not possible to reel off endless filaments because the cocoons have been damaged by moths or humans. This means that only relatively short fibers can be obtained, which then have to be spun so that a textile can be woven from them. Furthermore, the "Indian" silkworms have in common that their silk threads have a yellowish to brownish color and are also much more irregular. This resulted in the typical wild silk structure.
If the silk fibers are degummed well and spun into fine yarns, the result is very soft and tactile fabrics with interesting textures. This is reinforced by the spinning and weaving techniques of manual production, which are difficult to replicate industrially. The three types of silk Tussah, Eri and Muga are often mixed in order to vary the fabric properties. Tussah silk fabrics are less lustrous, heavier and more "sturdy" than mulberry silk fabrics.