Once the silk worm has spun its cocoon, its is placed in hot water to soften the shell. 350-750 m of silk can be unwound from a single cocoon, though the silk strand is very thin. Winding the silk on a reel allows people to manipulate it by dying or twisting it in specific ways, it then can be woven and used for whatever purpose intended (Capinera 2008).
Silk is believed to be the most beneficial insect in the world to human industry (besides the European honey bee). Silk production largely occurs in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea and India, as the labour to obtain the silk is tedious and requires many hours and many hands. Thus it is easier to produce cheaply in these countries as costs are lower to employ more people. As the worms have to be killed in order to harvest the silk, people have come up with ways to reduce the waste of left over silk worms by feeding the left over worms to other farming industries such as fish farms or chicken farms (Capinera 2008) This also makes it economically more viable as one company can run a silk farm and fish farm hand in hand. In countries such as Iran, silk worm cocoons can be sold for around $2-$3 US per kilo depending on the quality of the cocoon, although this is cheap, it supplies jobs ad industry to millions of people worldwide per year. As sericulture is so labour intensive, many people are required to carry out the work, which results in many people being hired for the industry.