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Wild Silk

2018- present

A long term study of four species of North American silk moths: Polyphemus (Antheraea polyphemus), Promethea (Callosamia promethea), Luna (Actias luna), and Cecropia (Hyalophora cecropia).

This project includes the extended observation of live cocoons in the wild from Florida through Southern Pennsylvania, the collection of all four species of cocoons from emerged or predated specimens, observation and care of live eggs, caterpillars, and cocoons in a human assisted way, and the de-gumming and spinning of the silk.

The ultimate goal of this project is to develop de-gumming formulas and methods using exclusively local, natural ingredients from the immediate landscape, such as urine, saponifying plants, and wood ash lye, without the need for commercial products. 

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