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Aug
27
2010

There are some things that I wish I didn’t know – the ostrich syndrome, if you will.  But here we are on the issue of silkworms.  I was reading a book to my son called Charlie Needs A Cloak – which illustrates how wool fabric is made from cute little sheeps – and we started talking about the origin of other fabrics.  I had always assumed that there was no harm done to silkworms in the process of taking their silk.  They just spin for the pleasure of humans and leave, right?

But the details are quite gruesome:  60,000 silk worms are killed to produce a single silk saree.  Cocoons are steamed or dropped in boiling water.  Apparently the pre-metamormphasis stage yields the shiniest silk.

Is there an alternative?  A non-violent silk?  I did find a few while poking around on the web.  One excellent website is Ahimsa Silks – based in Hyderabad.  They harvest the silk  post-metamorphasis – after the moths have pierced the cocoons.  They even have a patent on the process.  This type of silk doesn’t have the lustre of traditional silk – but the company claims that it’s comfortable, wrinkle-free and has a better fall.

I don’t think I’ll be purging my closet in favour of this eco-friendly silk – but do I still get to make fun of women who wear fur?

Image by Google Images.

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