GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Silk production. Silk is obtained from cocoons made by the larvae of the common silkworm moth, Bombyx mori. The eggs of the moth are collected on paper (lower centre), allowed to hatch, and the larvae raised on mats of mulberry leaves (top left). After spinning their cocoons, the silkworms are killed in a boiler and the silk is mechanically unwound (lower left and right). Each cocoon can yield up to 3km of silk. Several threads are combined to form the yarn that is woven into textiles.
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