A large variety of materials have been used in their manufacture by different peoples at different times - painted linen and shavings of stained horn by the Egyptians, gold and silver by the Romans, rice-paper by the Chinese, silkworm cocoons in Italy, the plumage of highly coloured birds in South America, wax, small tinted shells, &c. At the beginning of the 8th century the French, who originally learnt the art from the Italians, made great advances in the accuracy of their reproductions, and towards the end of that century the Paris manufacturers enjoyed a world-wide reputation.
Silkworm-rearinr establishments of importance now exist in the Marches, Umbria, in the Abruzzi, Tuscany, Piedmont and Venetia.
Agriculture, bee-keeping, silkworm-rearing and fishing are the principal occupations.
The emperor Justinian (483-565), in whose reign the greatness of the Eastern empire culminated, sent two Nestorian monks to China, who returned with eggs of the silkworm concealed in a hollow cane, and thus silk manufactures were established in the Peloponnesus and the Greek islands.
One good feature of the Russian primary school system, however, is that in many villages there are school gardens or fields; in nearly moo schools, bee-keeping, and in 300 silkworm culture is taught; while in some 900 schools the children receive instruction in various trades; and in 300 schools in slojd (a system of manual training originated in Finland).
Russia, was reduced to a very low ebb, in consequence of the silkworm disease, and was only renewed with any vigour towards the end of the 'eighties.
Attempts are being made to re-establish the silkworm industry in S.
Fish and game are plentiful, and the silkworm is bred in the warmer districts.
Up to that time he had never seen a silkworm, and hesitated to attempt so difficult a task; but at the reiterated request of his friend he consented, and in June 1865 went to the south of France for the purpose of studying the disease on the spot.
Malpighi's treatise on the silkworm (1669) and J.
Silkworm-rearing and the cultivation of peaches, chestnuts and other fruits are also carried on.
The culture of the silkworm is chiefly carried on in the south, and in Croatia-Slavonia.
The value of trade probably exceeds 2,000,000, principal exports being rice, raw silk, dry fruit, fish, sheep and cattle, wool and cotton, and cocoons, the principal imports sugar, cotton goods, silkworm "seed" or eggs (70,160 worth in 1906-7), petroleum, glass and china., The trade in dried silkworm cocoons has increased remarkably since 1893, when only 76,150 lb valued at 6475 were exported; during the year 1906-7 ending 10th March, 2,717,540 lb valued at 238,000 were exported.
Among the Chinese the name of the silkworm is " si, " Korean " soi "; to the ancient Greeks it became known as Q?p, the nation whence it came was to them ?r?pE S and the fibre itself o ptKc v, whence the Latin sericum, the French soie, the German Seide and the English silk.
Through Korea a knowledge of the silkworm and its produce reached Japan, but not before the early part of the 3rd century.
At a period probably little later a knowledge of the working of silk travelled westward, and the cultivation of the silkworm was established in India.
From the Ganges valley the silkworm was slowly carried westward and spread in Khotan, Persia and the states of Central Asia.
But the first notice of the silkworm in Western literature occurs in Aristotle, Hist.
Allusions to silk and its source became common in classical literature; but, although these references show familiarity with the material, they are singularly vague and inaccurate as to its source; even Pliny knew nothing more about the silkworm than could be learned from Aristotle's description.
In this he failed, but two Persian monks who had long resided in China, and there learned the whole art and mystery of silkworm rearing, arrived at Constantinople and imparted their knowledge to the emperor.
By him they were induced to return to China and attempt to bring to Europe the material necessary for the cultivation of silk, which they effected by concealing the eggs of the silkworm in a hollow cane.
From the precious contents of that bamboo tube, brought to Constantinople about the year 550, were produced all the races and varieties of silkworm which stocked and supplied the Western world for more than twelve hundred years.
Under the care of the Greeks the silkworm took kindly to its Western home and flourished, and the silken textures of Byzantium became famous.
Brought from Milan silkworm eggs, which were reared in the Rhone valley.
In 1825 a public company was formed and incorporated under the name of the British, Irish and Colonial Silk Company, with a capital of 1,000,000, principally with the view of introducing sericulture into Ireland, but it was a complete failure, and the rearing of the silkworm cannot be said ever to have become a branch of British industry.
Attempted to reinstate the silkworm on the American continent, but his first effort failed through shipwreck.
The common silkworm produces as a rule only one generation during the year; but there are races in cultivation which are bivoltine, or twogenerationed, and some are multivoltine.
4 represents the head (a) and feet (b, b) of the common silkworm, while c is a diagrammatic view of the silk glands.
Advantage is taken of this peculiarity to prepare from fully developed larvae silkworm gut used for casting lines in rodfishing, and for numerous other purposes where lightness, tenacity, flexibility and strength are essential.
The soil in which the mulberry grows, and the age and condition of the trees, are important factors in the success of silkworm cultivation; and it has been too often proved that the mulberry will grow in situations where, from the nature of the leaf the trees put forth and from other circumstances, silkworms cannot be profitably reared.
The eggs of the silkworm, called graine, are hatched out by artificial heat at the period when the mulberry leaves are ready for the feeding of the larvae.
Certain races moult or cast their skin three times during their larval existence, but for the most part the silkworm moults four times - about the sixth, tenth, fifteenth and twenty-third days after hatching.
That the silkworm is subject to many serious diseases is only to be expected of a creature which for upwards of 4000 years has been propagated under purely artificial conditions, and these most frequently of a very insanitary nature, and where, not the healthy life of the insect, but the amount of silk it could be made to yield, was the object of the cultivator.
A scourge which so seriously menaced the very existence of the silkworm in the world necessarily attracted a great amount of attention.
Thus he came to the conclusion that the malady had been inherent in many successive generations of the silkworm, and that the epidemic condition was only an exaggeration of a normal state brought about by the method of cultivation and production of graine pursued.
Roland's experience demonstrated that not cold but heat is the agent which saps the constitution of the silkworm and makes it a ready prey to disease.
The ravages of pebrine and other diseases had the effect of attracting prominent attention to the numerous other insects, allies of the mulberry silkworm, which spin serviceable cocoons.
The ailanthus silkworm of Europe is a hybrid between A.
As the outer flossy threads and the inner vests are not reelable, it is difficult to estimate the total length of thread produced by the silkworm, but the portion reeled varies in length and thickness, according to the condition and robustness of the cocoon, in some breeds giving a result as low as Soo metres, and in others 900 to 1200 metres.
According to P. Bolley, the glands of the silkworm contain semi-liquid fibroin alone, and it is on exposure to the air that FIG.
The supply of waste silk is drawn from the following sources: (I) The silkworm, when commencing to spin, emits a dull, lustreless and uneven thread with which it suspends itself to the twigs and leaves of the tree upon which it has been feeding, or to the straws provided for it by attendants in the worm-rearing establishments: this first thread is unreelable, and, moreover, is often mixed with straw, leaves and twigs.
Those from which the moth of the silkworm has emerged-and damaged cocoons.
Pasteur prosecuted his investigations into the silkworm disease at Alais, and the town has dedicated a bust to his memory.
Silkworm breeding, formerly a prosperous industry, has decayed, despite the encouragement of a state farm at New Marghelan.
Silkworm-rearing, once an important household industry, had been almost abandoned, when, in 1891; the government established mulberry nurseries, and distributed silkworms free of charge.
Silkworm-rearing is taught in the monasteries and agricultural schools, especially in the College of Agriculture and Sylviculture, at Ferestriu, near Bucharest.
Among the insects the bee and the silkworm are the most useful.