Sunday, March 15, 2009

Well, I s'pose it would go without saying that I am an eco girl at heart... and being an eco girl who makes things out of stuff, I try very hard to make that stuff sustainable. I have been reading an interesting article in my search for organic silk threads, and I thought I would pass a bit of it on to you. I have long known that silks are, while obviously a natural fibre, not very ethical in terms of production. Many many poor little worker silk worms meet their demise when in the employ of silk manufacturers. I did not, however know that the original silk worm (who just happens to go by the uber cool name of Bombix Mori) has been so domesticated that they are actually unable to live without the aid of their human masters. Very interesting...




“With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown” – Ancient Chinese Proverb. The finest, most desirable silk comes from the mulberry silkworm, which is actually a caterpillar and not a worm. Known as the Bombyx mori by entomologists, the mulberry silk worm is a fascinating but tragic bundle of insect life. Raised by professional keepers in China on trays of mulberry leaves a thousand years before the Roman Empire when wild tribes were roaming Europe living in stick and mud huts, the mulberry silkworm has been totally domesticated and can not live without humans for their care and feeding. There are no wild silkworms or Bombyx mori moths that roam and feed in the wild.


Across several thousand years of captive breeding, the Bombyx mori evolved into a blind moth that cannot fly and lives only a few days during which it lays about 500 eggs and then dies within four or five days. The silkworm moth has even lost the ability to eat because of undeveloped structures within their mouth. "

The rest of the article can be read here. It is a good thing to realize just what goes into these things that we take for granted. There is a reason that things were once considered for the use of royalty only. Not that I am supporting that concept at all, but it is an interesting place we have come to where we now have access to so much that some things just don't even seem special anymore.


Anyway, on the note of extravagance, I am very near to my super stellar birthday bash which seems to have taken on a Marie Antoinette theme. I am bringing "Let them eat cake!" to a whole new level. I am renovating my studio and have decided on a rather parisian confectionary look to the entire thing. Much flocked wallpaper and girlie colours. You may as well enjoy where you work! I live in a very tiny one bedroom apartment with two boys and simply cannot do it in my closet, so I rent a studio across the street (I live downtown) and am now very excited! Photos to come...

2 comments:

Suzy Q said...

Interesting article, though I would suspend my judgement of their breeding. Many moths and other adult insects, such as Mayflies, do not have mouths. They eat as larva and the sole purpose of adulthood is to mate before they die. Also, other female moths have no wings. They mate, lay eggs and die. While I am always on the side of the animals, sometimes the animal rights fighters are mistaken about their facts and realities. Life is brutal whether you are a free insect or a domesticated insect. Just a few tid-bits I picked up from an entomology class. xo

andrea of ffft said...

Oh, I totally agree... I just think it is interesting that they have become totally domesticated. Tough to put a lot of stock into moths not being able to live out their six days of freedom too, there are so many bigger fish to fry. Interesting though. I have images of teeny protest signs in my head... a little moth picket line.