Friday, July 16, 2010

Bombyx Mori

Our little Bombyx Mori a few days before spinning.

Ever wondered where all the silk in GJ batts comes from? It's the hardened saliva of a caterpillar just like this one.

Several weeks ago H came home from work with a tiny box filled with what appeared to the naked eye to be some vegetation and not much else, but closer inspection revealed a tiny caterpillar, about the size of a grain of rice, busily turning a leaf into lace. A colleague's kids were raising a group of them as pets and H, knowing my fascination with all forms of natural fibre, thought I should have a little monster of my own.
exterminate, Exterminate, EXTERMINATE!

Over the weeks the very hungry caterpillar munched its way through seemingly endless mulberry leaves, pausing only intermittently to shed its skin. Then, a few days ago, the long anticipated moment came when the eating stopped and a now rather large caterpillar began wandering drunkenly in circles around its box, leaving behind silvery threads of silk. Over an evening the threads began to take form into a beautiful, golden cocoon and now we wait while our little bombyx transforms itself into a moth.

Bombyx snug in its cocoon.

I never realised the cocoon would be such a beautiful, pearlescent gold.

Ooooh, look at that silk. :)

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