Past in the Present

It is true that the cycle of silk does not go, as happened for centuries, hand in hand with Mediterranean peoples. Currently, the production of silk is up to Asian countries, but the European textile industry still exports yarn and fabrics to produce alluring silk pieces. The silk weavers of our lands no longer spin, but there are still craft workshops with knitters who every day set the noise of the looms to meet the most demanding orders. 

If we know how to look, silk has left traces in the rural and urban landscape, and at the same time it is still in effect in many different areas. To this end, this dossier offers three complementary approaches to the world of silk. To start with, we’ll look back at the time when the silk business transformed the Valencian landscape with plantations of mulberry that formed gardens and left a mark on the architecture of the houses, to the point that the word andana has come to designate the room where worms are bred. And then we will turn our gaze to the present. First, to the current state of silk production in the world, in a context in which chemical fibers exceed the volume of the natural ones, among which silk has a special situation. And we will also observe research beyond the textile world, namely, biological research focused on the fibroin of silk threads. Leaving silk bioproducts aside, an important line of research studying the use of silk protein as a biomaterial in regenerative medicine is contextualised. 

Three perspectives on a golden thread that remind us of a past in the present.

© Mètode 2014 - 80. The science of the press - Online only. Winter 2013/14

Professor del departament de Didàctica de la Llengua i la Literatura. Universitat de València.