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.

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 20, 2014 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 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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