Images archive: Luther Hooper's SILK

These images are from a PDF of Luther Hooper’s “Silk: Its Production and Manufacture.”

These are all out of copyright, and available for use, to the best of my knowledge. These make great spinning-dyeing-weaving clip art.

If you do use any of these, please save them to your own server.

LOTS more pictures – including weaving, dyeing, twisting, and insects… Read more

Images Archive: Pasteur

There are a lot of old silk-related books that are available as PDF’s online.  I’ve gone through and pulled out some great illustrations.  These are out-of-copyright, and free for use, to the best of my knowledge.  I didn’t get ALL the pictures – I admit I picked the ones I liked, and ones I thought I would use. 

If you want to use these for your own use, please save them to your own server.

LOTS more pictures… Read more

Silk Educational Handouts

These are handouts about silk and silkworms that I use when I do educational presentations for schools, museums, and fairs.

One is aimed at younger kids, with more pictures and simpler wording: ; PDF file, 739K

The other is aimed at adults or older kids, with just a couple of pictures and a lot of dense text: PDF file, 40K

The kids handout is so much bigger because of the images.

These print out as a double-sided page, or two single pages.

The photographic images are my own photos; the line drawings are taken from out-of-copyright books I found on the Web.

The handouts may be used for educational purposes, as long as they are printed complete and without alteration.

It’s happened once before – that time, a Hungarian cool-photography website posted a link to my silkworm rearing page, and the course of a single day, the site got nearly five thousand hits. It didn’t have any really directly visible results, other than a spike in my hit numbers, but when they went back down, they didn’t go quite as far as they had been – routine traffic went from 200 – 300 hits per day to 500 – 600. It’s stayed up since, spiking after things like my article hitting Knitty, a print mention in “No Sheep for You” (thanks Amy!) and a couple of magazine articles.

At some point early this morning, a user posted a link to my Cecropia page on a website called Traffic surged upward – it was close to five thousand by the time I got to work.


If you can’t read the tiny numbers, it was just over fourteen thousand, at twenty minutes to two in the afternoon. By the time I typed this in, just at two, it had topped fifteen thousand.

Ironically, I can’t even put the photo on my website – because the website is crashing occasionally because of the traffic. It’s still there, and I’m not hitting a bandwidth threshhold or anything – it’s just swamping the server.

A lot of them are just fly-by’s, but still!

Oh, and unrelated (I think) – I got an email this morning from a French researcher who wants ultra-light harnesses (!!!) for butterflies (!?!?). The tether has to be less than .1 gram per 30 meters.

I can reel that.

My Color Box

Remember in this entry, I was trying to figure out which of the three spool sizes to use, and I figured that it would probably depend on which ones were easiest to store?

I went to the Container Store, and craft stores, and art supplies stores – and I finally found my solution.

It’s a pastels box. The fact that they look like little artist’s paint sticks, makes me very happy.


Peony progress, embroidery lessons

I’m still chugging along with the peony. I’m done with the flower, and am now working on the leaves:

Overall, I’m fairly pleased with how it’s going. I’ve certainly learned a lot – and I’m just working forward, leaving the artifacts of my learning process.

I’ve also started taking lessons. It’s a fairly informal situation, with embroideress Elizabeth LaFleur. She studied silk work at the Embroidery Institute in Souzhou, China, and knows a lot of the Chinese methods for dealing with filament silk. She’s taught me a lot already in just a couple of lessons. Some of them were things I never would have thought of; others are ways to fix difficulties that had been frustrating me but I didn’t comprehend how to overcome.

On the left, with the gold eye, is the Chinese needle – it’s amazingly fine. On the right is a #10 embroidery needle that I got from Tanja Berlin; they are not all that much different in size of eye, but the size of the needle shank itself is considerably different. The tiny fine needles make less traumatic holes in the silk ground of the embroidery, allowing me to get crisp, close stitch placement. They’re also a bugger to thread.