How silk is made, the fabric’s Chinese history and journey west, and farmers’ unlikely figure of worship

“They can’t fly,” says the manager of the Brochier Soieries silk shop in the old quarter of Lyons, France. “Their bodies are too fat. Or their wings are too big. Or something. Anyway, they’d never get off the ground.”I’ve never seen a silk moth before. And now here are two, on a table outside this shop. When I was a child, I learned that if it flies by day it’s a butterfly and if it flies by night it’s a moth. But what if it doesn’t fly at all?The manager, Eliza Ploia, smiles. “There are some…

How silk is made, the fabric’s Chinese history and journey west, and farmers’ unlikely figure of worship
“They can’t fly,” says the manager of the Brochier Soieries silk shop in the old quarter of Lyons, France. “Their bodies are too fat. Or their wings are too big. Or something. Anyway, they’d never get off the ground.”I’ve never seen a silk moth before. And now here are two, on a table outside this shop. When I was a child, I learned that if it flies by day it’s a butterfly and if it flies by night it’s a moth. But what if it doesn’t fly at all?The manager, Eliza Ploia, smiles. “There are some…