Silk and needles

I’ve recently had various new experiences that have opened my eyes in many ways. Life really is full of surprises that widen one’s horizons if you let them. The two stories below feature silk and tiny, barely visible needles.

First, I saw with my own eyes where silk comes from, after literally stumbling across some silkworms. This is what some of the worms look like:

Silk worms eating mulberry leaves

They are also super soft when you touch them, just like the silk they produce. Each worm spins itself a protective cocoon from one single strand of silk that can be as long as 1,5 km. The cocoons are mostly white or yellow as in the pictures above. The cocoons are put in hot water and somehow the ends of some dozens of silk strands are collected (I failed to follow this part as I was simply staring at the process in amazement) and spun together to create the silk thread that is used to weave the fabric. Below is a picture of the process through which the cocoons turn into a skein of silk. 

From what I’ve seen elsewhere, the weaving is the hard part as it takes hours and hours to create a few inches silk fabric with a hand-loom. Suddenly I have much more appreciation for the art of silk making as well as the craft that turns it into all the beautiful clothes!

The second new experience I’ve recently had was acupuncture, part of the ancient world of Eastern medicine. I tried this in connection with a cold I developed after the boat racing festival, after I had lost my voice for four days. Two hours and some 30 odd needles later, I could speak again. I took two more sessions and experienced how I could suddenly breathe through my nose again. During these sessions I was also treated for allergic symptoms, unhappy tummy and poor circulation in my feet and hands and at least the tummy problems and itchy eyes have since been absent. Remarkable.

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