'Reeling Silk', c 1874.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from 'The Illustrated London News', 21 November 1874, showing silk reeling in Turkestan, Asia. Silk thread is produced from the cocoons of the silkworm moth. The cocoons are unravelled and the filaments twisted together and woven into a fabric which is elastic, absorbent and very strong.