Smithsonian on Silkworm Farming

Via Boing Boing, I discovered that the Smithsonian has an article up about silkworm farming:

Silkworm farming [in Italy] was a brutal job. Since silkworms require a constant, mild temperature, entire sections of farmhouses were turned over to them and whole families would often pitch in, stoking round-the-clock fires to maintain the proper warmth. Some even “gave the worms the house and slept outside in the stalls with the animals,” says Ester Geraci, an official at Como’s Educational Silk Museum.

In case you are curious, here’s the Como Silk Museum website, which, alas, has frames.

I found a really neat site that has lesson plans and instructions for rearing silkworms in your classroom, and is also a nice general resource on silkworm life cycles.  Wormspit is also a good resource for info on silkworms.

Photo from Wm Jas

7 thoughts on “Smithsonian on Silkworm Farming

  1. I love silkworms! Years ago I homeschooled my kids and we did the silk worm thng every year. It’s amazing how much those things can eat!

    By the way, I stumbled upon your blog while blog hopping. Keep up the good work!

  2. Excellent resources!
    I do silk surface design work (traditional Japanese methods) so of course the silk worm always has a soft spot for me… and reminds me that I have a draft article about silk worms I ave to finish!

  3. I recently heard that you can have silkworms shipped to you, raise them, and then sell them back. Any information on how I might go about doing this?

  4. Is that person perhaps the one selling the silkworms? That just sounds really suspicious.

    I suggest you try contacting Wormspit–they have more silkworm experience and contacts.

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