Bombyx Mori Silk Farm
A rather unique treat in an otherwise tradition-laden tourist market, the Bombyx Mori Silk Farm is both educational and inspiring. You’ll find this great attraction near the Swadinin turn off on the R531 near Kampersrus.
The Bombyx Mori Silk Farm in South Africa is named for the tiny worm used to produce the silk created by the farm. While South Africa is home to its own variety of silk worm – namely the Mopane Worm (Gonometa rufobruuea) – this worm spins a very rough cocoon that is unsuited for silk manufacture. Instead the South African silk farm has had to painstakingly import Mulberry Silkworms – or Bombyx mori – as eggs from China due to the excellent quality of the silk produced by this particular worm. The original eggs have since spawned into a blossoming silk estate that sees the worm population peak at approximately 250 000 individuals during summer and about 50 000 during winter.
Unlike other silk farming operations, the Bombyx Mori Silk Farm focuses on the manufacture of high quality, hypoallergenic duvets, pillows and cosmetic products instead of on fabric. These luxury products seem to encase you in the ideal amount of warmth and nurture tired minds and bodies into a deep sleep. They are also perfect for people with allergies, asthma, sinus or eczema as the silk is inhospitable to house dust mite and it is free of chemicals. The Silk farm is also completely organic and environmentally friendly.
Visitors to the Bombyx Mori Silk Farm – the only farm of its kind in South Africa – will discover not only the wonderful lifecycle of this delicate creature but also the rich history of silk manufacture. They will then be provided with a glimpse at the intricate process used to make silk duvets wherein a single de-gummed and slightly stretched cocoon is carefully stretched and fluffed to the required size before being cross-layered with more cocoons, forming a strong and lightweight mesh that is eventually encased in a pure cotton covering. The entire process is done by hand by a team of specially trained local woman from the Limpopo Province and it is an art form that is fascinating to observe. Both adults and children can benefit from a visit to this unusual farm and a gift shop provides visitors with a chance to sample the merchandise. So give the Bombyx Mori Silk Farm a try and discover one of South Africa’s best kept industry secrets!