|Silk -- Tussah|
The other major commercial moth is Tussah,, also raised primarily in China. It is often referred to as "wild" silk, but it is carefully bred, nurtured, and watched over, much like pastured sheep. These large, stately moths are much different from the tiny Bombyx, and the silk is different as well. Tussah is a thicker, flatter filament, and is preferred by many handspinners because it is not as slippery to spin. Tussah silk also has a tan color, caused by tannins in the oak trees the caterpillars eat. As with Bombyx, the best quality cocoons are reeled, and the spinning fiber and are manufactured from flawed cocoons, cocoons pierced for breeding moths, and various wastes from the reeling and twisting processes. There are other types of silk moth, including Tasar, Tensan, Fagara, Eri, Muga, Mopani, and Anaphe. Each different species has a fascinating natural history, and makes a different quality of silk.