'Reeling Cocoons', c 1845.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Vignette from a lithographic plate showing two women reeling silk from cocoons. Silk thread is produced from the cocoons of the silkworm moth. After spinning and weaving, the finished fabric is elastic, absorbent and strong, and far superior to synthetic imitations. Taken from 'The Silk-Worm' in 'Graphic Illustrations of Animals - Showing their utility to man in their services during life, and uses after death' (1845), illustrated by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and R K Thomas and published by Thomas Varty. Printed by J Graf, C Graf, Day & Haghe.