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What is Silk Fibre

Silk Fabric
Silk is a natural protein fibre, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. Silk is a very special natural fibre. It is lustrous, and smooth, drapes well and is very strong. Silk takes dyes very well and can be made in brilliant colours. Silk is important historically and has been in use for at least 5,500 years. Most commercial silk is mulberry silk, which is also known as cultivated silk or bombyx silk. Mulberry silk is white, 10 to 14 microns in diameter and round in cross section. This type of silk is produced from cocoons of the mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori), a caterpillar that eats mulberry leaves

The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism like structure of the silk fibre, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors. Silks are produced by several other insects, but only the silk of moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacturing. There has been some research into other silks, which differ at the molecular level. Silks are mainly produced by the larvae of insects undergoing complete metamorphosis, but also by some adult insects such as webspinners. Silk production is especially common in the Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants), and is sometimes used in nest construction. Other types of arthropod produce silk, most notably various arachnids such as spiders.

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Silk yarn is the only filament yarn of natural textile fibers. It is very fine and soft fiber collecting from the secretion of glands of silk warms.

what a fantastic creature and great result silk fiber, my little soft sunshine

History of silk, Origin of silk - legend of Lady Hsi Ling Shih
Chinese legend gives the title Goddess of Silk to Lady Hsi-Ling-Shih, wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor, who was said to have ruled China in about 3000 BC. She is credited with the introduction of silkworm rearing and the invention of the loom. Half a silkworm cocoon unearthed in 1927 from the loess soil astride the Yellow River in Shanxi Province, in northern China, has been dated between 2600 and 2300 BC. Another example is a group of ribbons, threads and woven fragments, dated about 3000 BC, and found at Qianshanyang in Zhejiang province. More recent archeological finds a small ivory cup carved with a silkworm design and thought to be between 6000 and 7000 years old, and spinning tools, silk thread and fabric fragments from sites along the lower Yangzi River reveal the origins of sericulture to be even earlier.

Silkworm and the family
There are many indigenous varieties of wild silk moths found in a number of different countries. The key to understanding the great mystery and magic of silk, and China's domination of its production and promotion, lies with one species: the blind, flightless moth, Bombyx mori. It lays 500 or more eggs in four to six days and dies soon after. The eggs are like pinpoints one hundred of them weigh only one gram. From one ounce of eggs come about 30000 worms which eat a ton of mulberry leaves and produce twelve pounds of raw silk. The original wild ancestor of this cultivated species is believed to be Bombyx mandarina Moore, a silk moth living on the white mulberry tree and unique to China. The silkworm of this particular moth produces a thread whose filament is smoother, finer and rounder than that of other silk moths. Over thousands of years, during which the Chinese practiced sericulture utilizing all the different types of silk moths known to them, Bombyx mori evolved into the specialized silk producer it is today; a moth which has lost its power to fly, only capable of mating and producing eggs for the next generation of silk producers.

Silk, animal fibre produced by certain insects and arachnids as building material for cocoons and webs, some of which can be used to make fine fabrics. In commercial use, silk is almost entirely limited to filaments from the cocoons of domesticated silkworms (caterpillars of several moth species belonging to the genus Bombyx).

A strong demand for the local production of raw silk arose in the Mediterranean area. Justinian I, Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565, persuaded two Persian monks who had lived in China to return there and smuggle silkworms to Istanbul in the hollows of their bamboo canes. These few hardy silkworms were the beginning of all the varieties that stocked and supplied European sericulture until the 19th century.

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