Potter, M. David School of Business, San Francisco State College, San Francisco, California.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Life cycle of the silkworm moth
- Filature operations
- Wild silk
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The lustrous protein fiber produced by silkworms (larvae of the silkworm moth); also the thread or cloth made from such fiber. Silk is a highly prized commodity by the consumer, even though certain manufactured fabrics now have some qualities that were formerly possessed only by silk. The domestication and cultivation of the silkworm (the larva of the silkworm moth, Bombyx mori) [Fig. 1] using scientific methods began in China about 3000 BC. Extreme care and close supervision are required, and the reeling of the filament from the cocoons can be done successfully only by skilled operators whose training is the result of generations of experience. China and India are the top silk-producing countries. India also imports a great deal of silk. Other major importers of silk include the United States, Italy, France, Germany, and Japan. See also: Entomology, economic; Natural fiber; Textile
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