Chinese silk-making

Chinese silk-making

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Chinese silk-making during the 19th Century. The women second and third from left are boiling cocoons containing the pupae of the moth Bombyx mori, which is native to China. Silk thread is used to form the cocoons in which the moth larvae pupate. Boiling kills the pupae and prevents them from damaging the cocoon. The cocoons are softened by the water, which frees the silk filament ends for reeling. The woman standing on the left is winding single silk filaments together to form yarn. The yarn is being wound onto reels by the two women at the far right. The silk yarn will be dried on the reels before being distributed as raw silk.

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