Friday, May 01, 2009

SILK - The miracle of methamorphosis

A new post has been long overdue and I thought that last week's silk workshop by fiber artist Renate Mail-Moskovitz would be a perfect opportunity to restart writing.....
The silkworm by itself looks nothing unusual: if you are not fond of creepy-crawlers it will not be a "love at first sight"!

They start out as tiny black dots and live an amazingly boring life. They feed ONLY on mulberry leaves; in fact they rather die than try new food. There is a point when they can't eat any more....and that is when the miracle starts! They spin their spit into a cocoon: first the outer shell, then the continuous, 1-mile-long, super thin silk thread that actually has a diamond shaped cross section (2 triangles, to be precise). This gives silk its shine.

It takes 2 1/2 days for the silkworm to finish the job. The innermost layer is another, very strong shell. When the moths come out, they only live to mate.

Just before they die , the females lay 300 to 500 eggs.....and the cycle starts again. be continued


ritarenata said...

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Hooked On Felt said...

Wonderful entry. Very informative. Good for you!