Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New method of unreeling cocoons could extend silk industry beyond Asia

Date:
May 22, 2011
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The development and successful testing of a method for unreeling the strands of silk in wild silkworm cocoons could clear the way for establishment of new silk industries not only in Asia but also in vast areas of Africa and South America.

The development and successful testing of a method for unreeling the strands of silk in wild silkworm cocoons could clear the way for establishment of new silk industries not only in Asia but also in vast areas of Africa and South America.

Related Articles


The report appears in ACS' journal Biomacromolecules.

Fritz Vollrath, Tom Gheysens and colleagues explain that silk is made by unraveling -- or unreeling -- the fine, soft thread from cocoons of silkmoths. The practice began as far back as 3500 BC in ancient China, where silk was the fabric of royalty. Today, most silk comes from cocoons of the domesticated Mulberry silkworm (bred from a species native to Asia) because they are easy to unreel into long continuous strands. The cocoons formed by "wild" species are too tough for this process, so harsher methods are sometimes used. However, these methods damage the strands, producing a poor-quality silk. To overcome this challenge to the widespread commercial use of wild cocoons, the researchers developed a new way to loosen the strands without damaging them.

The group found that the surfaces of wild cocoons were coated with a mineral layer and that removing this layer ("demineralizing") made it easy to unreel the cocoons into long continuous strands with commercial reeling equipment. These strands were just as long and strong as those from Mulberry silkworm cocoons. The researchers say that the new method could expand the silk industry to new areas of the world where wild silkworms thrive.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the European Union, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tom Gheysens, Andrew Collins, Suresh Kumar Raina, Fritz Vollrath, David P. Knight. Demineralization enables reeling of Wild Silkmoth cocoons. Biomacromolecules, 2011; 110414082028023 DOI: 10.1021/bm2003362

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New method of unreeling cocoons could extend silk industry beyond Asia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517132637.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2011, May 22). New method of unreeling cocoons could extend silk industry beyond Asia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517132637.htm
American Chemical Society. "New method of unreeling cocoons could extend silk industry beyond Asia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517132637.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins