New Silkworms Produce Eco-Friendly DayGlo Fiber

In addition to all of the crochet blogs that I read I also read a few “green” blogs including Ecouterre (source of the info here and the image above). I recently came across an article there about a new way that silkworms are being cultivated to create more eco-friendly fibers. This is a fascinating thing to pay attention to if you’re someone who uses silk yarn.

The process is actually pretty simple. Scientists in Singapore have figured out that putting silkworms on a diet of mulberry levels and non-damaging fluorescent dyes will result in pre-dyed silk fibers. There isn’t a huge range of colors being produced by these silkworms – it’s basically just a DayGlo pink – but it provides some potential to explore other natural dyeing options in the future.

The original article explains that the best part about this cool little science experiment is that it saves the earth in terms of both water conservation and reduced use of toxic chemicals. Because the silk is already “dyed” when it’s made there isn’t a need to dye it manually. The dyeing process often uses chemicals that are poisonous to the environment and it’s also a very water-intensive process.

Research indicates that that this technology is both scalable and affordable. In other words, small textile companies could do something with this and it would also be possible to produce it on a much larger scale and still have the silk be affordable. It’ll be interesting to see if this is one of those fashion technology ideas that really moves forward or lingers for awhile and then fades away.

What do you think about putting silkworms on a special diet to produce a colored fiber?

Subscribe to all posts by daily email or through a feed reader.

Subscribe to my newsletter where I share crochet news and updates every 1-2 months.

Kathryn

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

2 Comments:

  1. Wow, that sounds brilliant. Assuming new diet the silkworms are fed is not of a lower quality than that which they are already eating, I think this is a great idea. Less chemicals in the dyeing process must be something everyone is for, right?

  2. Love it! The little guys will be full of antioxidants. :) I remember pigging out on mulberries as a kid. When I saw that the soles of my feet were purple, I thought that I had eaten so many the color bled through my skin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Image of Cover for Crochet Saved My Life

    Crochet Saved My Life tells my story of how crafting healed me from chronic depression. It also shares the stories of 24 other amazing women who hooked to heal. Read the book today!