Women's Groups: Weaving, processing, sewing
Women working on the CPALI wild silk project have an opportunity to earn money in three ways: by weaving baskets from natural materials for silkworm breeders, by producing silk, and by processing and sewing the silk into a final product.
CPALI Women's Groups
CPALI works with local communities to establish livelihood and leadership opportunities for women. Our women's groups in each community choose their own leadership, delegate responsibilities among themselves and function as a highly effective team to produce silkworm rearing equipment, process the silk, and sew the final products. In addition, every member of our women's groups is also a silk farmer and produces silk. Today, nearly 50% of our farmers are women. CPALI works with local communities
In order to rear wild silk sustainably, CPALI must rely on natural materials and innovative designs. Thanks to our skilled women's groups, we are producing a whole line of natural equipment including rearing baskets, chrysallide baskets and locally sewn rearing nets.
Organizing Silkworm Baskets
The silkworm rearing equipment is used by each farmer on a loan-to-own basis. CPALI buys the equipment from the women's groups and supplies them to our new members. Then each farmer either works off their debt through silk production or returns the equipment to CPALI.
Our processing procedure for the cocoons is straight forward and minimalistic so as not to damage the animal inside and to maintain the unique structure of the silk.
First the moth larvae is removed without damaging the moth inside. Then the cocoon is cut open down its side and washed. The two inner layers are separated and sorted by color. Last, the cocoon is ironed flat and ready to sew.
Sewing the Textile
Our main product is a flat, non-spun textile that is sold by the meter. The CPALI women's groups sew the silk cocoons with machines available at our training site. This gives us an important opportunity for training, teamwork and bonding. Our newer product line also makes production possible at home.
When each batch of textile is finished, our women and the SEPALI staff proudly present their work before shipping it off to be marketed around the world.