Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Quick Look at Sericulture

At the moment, I am revisiting a few Silky Textbooks...

This is one of the first I bought: The Global Silk Industry - A Complete Sourcebook.  Sections include an overview of the textile scene, a short section on silk history, an overview of the global silk industrysilk rearing, silk processing, wild silks, silk research and global marketing.  It is comprehensive, although it could do with a copyedit.
A Technical Source Book on all sorts of aspects of sericulture
The next book I bought was called Silk.  I hankered after it for ages after looking at it in the British Library.  It is gorgeously illustrated, and although comprehensive looking at silk in history and silk in use, the main emphasis seems to be on how silk has been used in fashion (unsurprising since Mary Schoeser is a fashionfellow in fashionTextiles at St MartinsCollege of Art and Design.  The section on the science of silk is quite short, and takes the form of a glossary.

Another comprehensive book on silk - sumptuously illustrated.

I then discovered The Story of Silk, which was written in 1990 by an entomologist.  I really like this book.  It has a short historical section then has a good section on the silkworm and mulberry trees before moving on to all sorts of interesting topics such as natural dyes.  

Another comprehensive book on silk - written by an entomologist

When I started rearing my own silkworms I bought this book second hand.  It is a handbook mainly based on Small Scale Sericultural practices in India - which was ideal for my purposes.  It is practical and has good illustrations - which helped me grasp the practicalities of a complex process.  

A Handbook for small scale sericulturalists
In 2009, I went to China to discover more about silk.  I started with a Silk Forum in the city of Hangzhou.  This is a collection of the papers associated with that.

The Proceedings of the 2009 China International Silk Forum, Hanzhou

I then went down to the Southwest University Chongqing, where I discovered that I had just missed a conference on the Bombyx mori - which was annoying.  However,  this summary of the papers, very kindly given to me by one of the members of staff there, was very interesting, and almost as good as being there.  
The proceedings of the International Symposium on Bombyx mori Functional Genomics and Modern Silk Road, Chongqing
After that I went down to Guangzhou and was given this at the Regional Sericulture Training Centre.  It is gives very detailed instructions, but best of all it is signed and dated on the title page, which makes it one of my treasured possessions.

Practical Guidebook to looking after silkworms from Guanzhou.


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