chiara vigo shows us how she spins a byssus silk thread. the sea silk must be spinned according to the mooon ........................................................

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how to spin a byssus thread
- august 2002






after the 'harvest' the raw byssus fibers were
washed several times, dried and combed.



byssus filaments -finer than a hair -are twisted
together to form a single thread.



byssus filaments -finer than a hair -are twisted
together to form a single thread.



a spindle - a tapered stick of wood - was the
earliest spinning tool.
chiara shows us her 150 years old spindle,
made of oleander.



in order to handle or manipulate the threads it
is first necessary to spin the yarn to insert sufficient
twist to bind the fibres together.



the revolutions of the spindle pull out the
fibres and twist them together. the yarn is spun at
some speed to make it strong enough to withstand
all potential strain imposed upon it.



the typical gold-brown shining color, which made
seasilk so famous, receives it by inserting into
lemon juice.
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not only were molluscs used to dye cloth,
they were also used to manufacture cloth.
ancient artisans used the fine strong bysus threads
of the noble pen shell to manufacture the legendary
sea silk.
see the history of byssus cloth


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chiara vigo in sant'antioco, sardinia
is one of the few women today, who are
still manufacturing byssus cloth.
see more


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the pen shell (pinna nobilis)





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