“Silk Road” was opened in 139 BC. It was world’s longest trade route between Eastern China and Mediterranean Sea. Silk, the most valuable commodity was transported along this road. It brought the road name and fame.
China was the first to make silk. His Ling Shi, the teenaged queen of the Chinese Emperor, Huang Ti, discovered that silk could be extracted from the cocoons of the moth, Bombyx Mori. She invented a method to unwind silk thread and developed the first silk reel. Silk worm moths were reared, cocoons separated and silk thread was extracted to make silk fabric. Sericulture or the cultivation of silk worm spread soon, through China.
Silk production reached India and Japan by 300 AD. Silk manufacture spread to Europe and America subsequently. By 18th century, England topped the silk industry. Research was carried out on silk worms, for controlling diseases, developing high silk yielding breeds of moth and perfecting silk production. A scientific approach was set to produce high quality silk and expand the industry and trade all over the world.
In the silk industry, four different silks are produced, CREPE for weaving crinkly fabrics, TRAM and ORGANZINE for weft and warp respectively for weaving large sheets of silk, and THROWN SINGLES for weaving low grade fabrics. The slender thread obtained from cocoons is twisted in different ways to produce the four different silks.
Different grades of silk, high, medium, and low are produced in large quantities in silk factories. This means, silk worm rearing has to happen on a very large scale too. The practice involves highly skilled labor, automated machines and round the clock production.
The wonderful process of metamorphosis is interrupted. Pupas are mercilessly killed. The cocoons are peeled of their silk in steam boilers. The entire process is absolutely soulless!
Plant fibers from pine apple are as lustrous and strong as silk. Synthetic fibers, Nylon, Polyester-Terylene, Dacron, Orlon or Dralon have the same quality as silk. Their manufacture does not involve killing of small living creatures.
Let us say no to Silk.