Silk is a natural protein fibre, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The protein fibre of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture). 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 generally 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. Many silks are mainly produced by the larvae of insects undergoing complete metamorphosis, but some adult insects such as webspinners produce silk, and some insects such as raspy crickets produce silk throughout their lives. Silk production also occurs in Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants), silverfish, mayflies, thrips, leafhoppers, beetles, lacewings, fleas, flies and midges. Other types of arthropod produce silk, most notably various arachnids such as spiders (see spider silk).
Other articles related to "silk":
... regarded as the "Father of the United States Silk Industry." A native of Bollington, Macclesfield, Cheshire, England, John Ryle started working in the silk ...
... Batiste Bedford cord Bengaline silk Beta cloth Bombazine Brilliantine Broadcloth Buckram Bunting Burlap C change Calico Cambric Canvas Chambray Capilene Cedar bark Char cloth Charmeuse ...
... spiders use gossamer or especially fine silk to lift themselves off a surface or use the silk as an anchor in mid air ... The very fine silk used for ballooning has been called "gossamer" since 1325 and was not originally known to be produced by spiders by extension ... Biologists also apply the term "balloon silk" to the threads that mechanically lift and drag systems ...
... He worked in various silk mills in and about Macclesfield until the year 1839, when, having just obtained his majority, he concluded to gratify his ... States to scope out business for his two brothers, and to see how the silk industry was progressing in America without ever having any intentions of remaining there permanently ... By the time Ryle arrived in America, silk was not manufactured to any great extent in the United States ...
... As the process of harvesting the silk from the cocoon kills the larvae, sericulture has been criticized by animal welfare and rights activists ... Mohandas Gandhi (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi, India) was critical of silk production based on the Ahimsa philosophy "not to hurt any living thing" ... He also promoted Ahimsa silk, wild silk made from the cocoons of wild and semi-wild silk moths ...
Famous quotes containing the word silk:
“Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piecemeal
of a sort of emotional anemia.”
—Ezra Pound (18851972)
“O bid me mount and sail up there
Amid the cloudy wrack,
For Peg and Meg and Paris love
That had so straight a back,
Are gone away, and some that stay
Have changed their silk for sack.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“A single strand of silk does not make a thread, nor a single tree a forest.”