silkworm gut

silkworm gut defined in 1909 year

silkworm gut - Silkworm Gut;
silkworm gut - This substance, also called Florence gut, or simply Florence, is the fine strong fibre universally employed by anglers for attaching their hooks. Its preparation is thus described by Mrs. Whit by: There are some silkworms which come to maturity, turn yellow, but not clear, yet show no disposition to rise on the manello. The person in charge should walk round the laboratory once every morning and evening, and collect all such fat, heavy, opaque-looking creatures, and put them into a basin of half vinegar, half water; here they should be left 12 hours, and treated thus: A board should be prepared, 30 in. by 6 in., with a row of pegs at each end, and notches all round the edges. Two intestinal canals run through the length of the silkworm; these should be separated from the head of the insect while in the vinegar and water, and the threads, one by one, drawn out rapidly to their full extent, and fixed at full stretch on the board, by means of the pegs and notches. Expedition is to be observed, as the air soon hardens the strings; they must on no account be passed through the finger and thumb, as they are of no value if flat. The yellow mucilage which clings to the strings is removed afterwards by being boiled in soap and water. When the Florence (for the time being) is drawn out, the board should be placed in the sun to dry. To clean the gut, take a bit of soap the size of a nutmeg, and boil it in a gallon of water. When the soap is dissolved, put the Florence into it, and boil for 10 minutes; take it out, and pass it through cotton, to remove what may remain of the yellow matter, but pass it so lightly that the gut, which becomes soft by boiling, may not be flattened. When again stretched and dried on the board, it becomes clear and strong. Experience alone can bring this to perfection, but it is worth the trial with silkworms which will not spin, and which would therefore be lost; and, if well made, Florence should sell for ½d. or 1d. the string, according to its length, strength, roundness, and clearness." There is room for experiment on other plant-eating caterpillars with a view to utilising them in this way.

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