Archive for May, 2011
… Women are the chief workers, contributing 90 per cent. of the labor. Here again the toil is taxing beyond belief.
The brunt of the work consists first in filling the mouths of the worms, which must be fed at regular intervals night and day for about three weeks, during the last few days of which they eat continuously and voraciously. It has been found that the rearing of worms can best be done only on a small scale, where minute attention can be given to each tray, almost to each worm. This means that worms are reared in the homes of the people, rather than in large establishments. During the silkworm season everything else must give way; the house is filled with trays of ravenous worms; rest, recreation, and sleep, for old and young alike, are neglected in order that the precious worms may get their fill. Men and boys bring in the mulberry leaves from the hills and fields, while women and girls strip the branches, chop the leaves and feed them to the magic creatures that transform worthless green leaves into costly silk. The leaves must not be damp, nor old, and every condition of weather and temperature must be watched with the closest care. Otherwise there is loss. This heavy work comes twice each year, in some places three times. That is to say, there are two or three crops of silkworms.
Then, after the cocoons have been formed, comes the reeling off of the silk, as much as possible before the sleeping grub wakens and eats its way out, destroying the silk it has spun for its nest. So again there is pressure, and again women do the work—I never heard of a man reeling silk. It takes the deft hand and quick eye of a girl to catch the thread in the boiling water, connect it with the wheel, and unroll without breaking the almost invisible thread so wonderfully wound up by the worm. This work is often done in the homes, but increasingly now, because more profitably, in factories where the girls can be closely watched by inspectors and paid according to the skill and the amount of their work. …
Working Women of Japan, Sidney Lewis Gulick 1915
silk samples , Christian Dior
Inspection of red shoes by specialist http://www.saihashizume.com/
Shoes by: Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Casadei, Chanel, Ferragamo, Givenchy, JP Gaultier etc