Silkworms have played a critical role in the history of materials, and are poised to be even bigger players in the future. Starting in China and spreading to all of East Asia, silkworms provided the main impetus for cross-continental trade along the silk-road, spreading culture and ideas. The rich history of silkworms includes both their evolutionary path and their role in Chinese culture. In the modern era silkworms have proved valuable to genetic research and are beginning to be used to produce custom polymers including spider-silk.
This blog’s purpose is to provide an overarching view of silkworms in the context of their domestication and what material goods they have supplied us with.