How Silk Is Born

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How Silk Is Born
How Silk Is Born

Video: How Silk Is Born

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: How Silk is made from Silkworms ? - Production Of Silk from Silk Worm 2023, January
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This is an amazing creature with a hidden talent. At one time, it was valued in the same way as diamonds or gold, revolutions broke out in its name and whole continents united. And all because of the best fiber in the world. This is an incredible story about a tiny but significant silkworm.

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Today we will visit an Italian factory, and at the same time remember the history and learn about the mysterious birth of silk.

A silkworm caterpillar.

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Long lasting, thin and durable. Throughout human history, silk has always been a precious commodity. The history of silk began 5,000 years ago in ancient China.

Silkworm butterfly and cocoons. From one of them, she appeared.

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According to legend, the wife of the Yellow Emperor was drinking tea in the garden when something suddenly fell from the branches of a mulberry tree. When the mysterious object was removed from the cup, it turned out that it was woven from a thin and pleasant to the touch thread.

A silkworm caterpillar.

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So the secret of silk was revealed, and this oblong object was in fact a silkworm cocoon.

Silk cocoons.

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Soon after its discovery, silk production spread throughout China until it became one of the key elements of the country's economy. Samples of fabric have been preserved, which are already 2-3 thousand years old.

Silkworm butterfly and cocoons.

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The silkworm is a 7 cm caterpillar. The creation of the cocoon begins with the construction of the frame on which the entire structure rests.

A silkworm caterpillar.

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The caterpillar makes quick, steady movements of its head and lays the thread in a figure-eight shape.

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She can repeat these movements up to 230,000 times, and the length of silk reaches 1,000 meters. After 2-3 days, the cocoon is ready, and a miracle begins to happen in the silk house. The caterpillar stays in the cocoon for about 3 weeks and turns into a butterfly there.

Silkworm and butterfly eggs.

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It all starts with tiny eggs, so small that even 2,000 pieces weigh less than 1 gram. They hatch caterpillars no larger than a pinhead. Over the next 3 days, they will increase their weight 10,000 times. And they feed on the leaves of the white alkali.

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They don't have to eat anything else to produce the finest silk. It takes about 2,000 cocoons to make 1 silk dress, which means that the caterpillars need to eat more than 70 kg of leaves - almost 2 mulberry trees.

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The cocoons need to be collected before the butterflies appear. If you overexpose them, the butterfly will gnaw through the cocoon and damage the silk. Cocoons are immersed in boiling water to kill the caterpillars and dissolve the protective layer.

Silkworm and butterfly eggs.

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After that, the threads are woven together and they are ready for the production of an expensive and valuable material - silk. But not all cocoons end up in boiling water, because new butterflies are needed, which will lay tiny eggs, from which thousands of new caterpillars will appear … The circle is closed.

Silk cocoons.

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Modern butterflies are blind and cannot fly, this is the result of thousands of years of selection. Each butterfly lives only a few days, and it is important for it to quickly find a mate. A few days after mating, the female lays eggs on the leaves of the mulberry tree.

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What makes silk special? The thread is 8 times thinner than a human hair, it is very durable, because it is designed to protect caterpillars from hungry insects, and is absolutely water-repellent. Because of this, the fabric is soft and pleasant to the touch, but at the same time strong and durable.

Silk cocoons and silk threads.

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In 200 BC. the city of Xi'an became the starting point of the legendary trade route along which this valuable material was transported to other countries. The Great Silk Road appeared, it ran to the west and stretched for almost 6,500 km.

Silk cocoons.

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Big and small cities appeared all the way. The silk trade has become an important stage in the development of human civilization. The end point of the route was the city of Byzantium, today known as Istanbul. It became the gateway to Europe and the Roman Empire.

Silk cocoons.There are about 200 different types of silkworms in this Italian factory.

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In those days, high prices for silk were kept because China jealously guarded its secrecy of the production of this material. But in 550 A.D. the Byzantine emperor ordered two monks to go to China and hatch silkworm eggs and mulberry seeds. With proper storage, eggs and seeds could survive for 2 years, which was required to return.

Silkworm butterflies hatched from cocoons.

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Thus came the end of the Chinese monopoly on silk production. Over the next 1,000 years, silk production became an important part of the Arab and European economy.

Silk cocoons.

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5,000 years have passed, and the unique fabric is still in great demand. Today the silk industry is also an important component of many economies, and millions of meters of silk are unwound from cocoons every day in huge factories.

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