Unit - Chemistry of Fibres, Textiles and Garments
2016/2017 8 Lectures

And I have often thought, that probably there might be a way found out, to make an artificial glutinous composition, much resembling, if not full as good, nay better, then that Excrement, or whatever other substance it be out of which, the Silk-worm wire-draws his clew. If such a composition were found, it were certainly an earie matter to find very quick ways of drawing it out into small wires for use. I need not mention the use of such an Invention, nor the benefit that is likely to accrue to the finder, they being sufficiently obvious. This hint therefore, may, I hope, give some Ingenious inquisitive Person an occasion of making some trials, which if successfull, I have my aim, and I suppose he will have no occasion to be displeased.
Robert Hooke (1665), "Micrographia, or, Some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses, with observations and inquiries thereupon".

It took several hundred years following this suggestion from Hooke before an "artificial silk" (synthetic fibres) became available. Prior to that, all textiles were created from natural fibres.

Beijing silk factory Beijing silk factory Beijing silk factory
Beijing silk factory Beijing silk factory Beijing silk factory
Pictures from a Beijing silk factory, 2005

1. Vegetable-based fibres

or return to Textile Module outline.

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