While my folks were here we visited a silk shop. Before they took us to their showroom to buy their products, they gave us a little tour of their demo factory, where they showed the various stages of harvesting silk, making silk thread, and creating silk fabric. It was quite the interesting process.
Silkworms process the silk:
The balls of silk are heated in water and 1 thread at a time is extracted and spooled:
The threads are woven together on a big loom to create the fabric:
Bonus points if you can answer this question: How can you tell genuine silk from fake silk? Put your best guess in the comments.