Common garden privet proves an amenable host

The much maligned, common garden Privet (Ligustrum) may have found its true niche as a perfectly amenable host for an exotic looking Asian moth.

Visitors heading to this weekend's Malvern Autumn Show (25 & 26 September) will not only be learning to grow their own fruit and vegetables, but also to 'grow' beautiful silk fibre!

William Hyett of the Naturally Inspired Silk Farm in Orleton, Ludlow, is a guest in the Show's Good Life Pavilion this year, and will be talking about the ancient and fascinating world of natural hand-reared silk.

Alongside a living exhibit, will be information about Naturally Inspired's Life Cycle and Silk Production rearing kits for home and school, which are eco-friendly, organic, 100% recyclable and regenerative. The kits use fully domesticated Eri silkworms from India.

Samia ricini has been reared in East India for thousands of years and is not found in the wild.  It hybridizes well with other species to form some very handsome moths, and as a result, the silk comes in a variety of shades.

The larvae spin cocoons which are open-ended with a non-continuous thread. The moths are allowed to hatch before the silk is processed and for this reason, Eri Silk is sometimes known as peace silk.

 
 

Article posted on 26 Sep 2010.