To produce just 100 grams of silk, approximately 1,500 worms are killed. Some silkworm chrysalises are put aside to allow the moths to emerge and mate. Once the female moth lays eggs, she is crushed so that workers can check for diseases. If she appears to be diseased, her eggs are destroyed. After mating, male moths are dumped into a basket and thrown out. Because of generations of inbreeding, they are no longer able to fly. Birds commonly pick at them from bins outside silk manufacturing centres.
Alternatives to Silk
Many soft, smooth and shimmering synthetic alternatives to silk are available today, including artificial silk (art silk) and China (not Chinese) silk. These alternatives are made from various materials. For instance, rayon is made from cellulose fibre, and nylon and polyester are made from petroleum.