Hypnotic machinery in silk making
August 29, 2014 12:44 PM   Subscribe

The Nishiyama Silk company explains their silk production process from reeling silk out of the boiled cocoons through handweaving the final cloth. Their factory video is a three minutes of hypnotic machine motion (along with some adorable socks on the weavers).
posted by janell (9 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
That video was amazing. I hope somebody who's really good at making those seamlessly looping gifs of mechanisms finds it.

Slick website, too. Why did this small Japanese company make an English site with such a westernized internet aesthetic, I wonder? It's lovely regardless.
posted by Mizu at 1:14 PM on August 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Obligatory alternative backing music.

I toured a silk factory outside Beijing one time. It's quite unsettling watching the coccoons tumbling along the conveyor belt into the vats, and certainly provokes thoughts of aesthetics and exploitation.

Buddha's watching, Buddha's waiting.
posted by Devonian at 1:22 PM on August 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Silk production has always been one of those "who the hell first thought to do this?" things to me.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:27 PM on August 29, 2014


who the hell first thought to do this?

The legend is that the ancient empress Leizu was drinking tea in the garden when a cocoon happened to fall in, and she noticed that it unraveled into an exceptionally fine thread. It's probably not completely true, but it's not too hard to see something like that happening by accident and someone with a keen eye for fibers taking note.
posted by echo target at 3:37 PM on August 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Silk production has always been one of those "who the hell first thought to do this?" things to me.

But surely it's the most threadlike natural fibre? Wool and cotton both need spinning, which for cotton was massively laborious until the industrial revolution, and flax and hemp need to be rotted before spinning the fibres out.
posted by ambrosen at 5:18 PM on August 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Silk production has always been one of those "who the hell first thought to do this?" things to me.

I'm with you, followed by a good dose of "how the hell did anyone design such a workshop without using magic?" I felt like a simple monkey, marveling at all the wondrous things that the humans were doing.
posted by kanewai at 5:37 PM on August 29, 2014


Just have to say "thanks"! I'm in awe.
posted by cleroy at 8:57 PM on August 29, 2014


Cool, thanks for posting this!
posted by carter at 1:59 PM on August 30, 2014


I found it gratifying to see so much wood in action. Lovely.
posted by kinnakeet at 12:29 AM on August 31, 2014


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