CREATIVE DESIGN FOR SILK WORMS
The story of Turkish silk’s defiance against time is coming to life again. Silkworms will remain alive and continue to produce silk. The project of Berk Babayiğit, student at IUE Department of Industrial Design, allowed silkworms to produce silk without spinning a cocoon and then turning into a moth and staying alive.
Babayiğit, who specializes on bio design, stated that he wanted to blend the beauties of Mother Nature with technology and innovation, and offer it back to the nature. He said, “Mother Nature generously offers its resources to us but we are faced with issues such as global warming, drought, etc. due to misusing and abusing natural resources. We need to co-operate with Mother Nature to come up with solutions. I’ve decided to focus on bio design by working with silkworms. I’ve succeeded in silk production without causing any harm to silkworms.”
“Silkworms won’t die anymore”
Babayiğit stated that the traditional method involved placing the cocoon boiling water to harvest the silk which killed the pupae. “Since hatching from the cocoon destroys the thread, I wanted to find a solution that prevented silkworms from dying so I’ve prepared a kit. Silkworms need a 3 dimensional structure in order to spin a cocoon. They secrete a sticky liquid protein, and that liquid hardens when it comes in contact with air. Therefore, they cannot form this structure without a 3 D structure. I do not offer them this structure. I place them on a flat platform. They cannot spin cocoons on this platform; they can only weave flat plates. When they are done weaving, I place my tired silkworms into artificial cocoons so they can complete their transformations,” said Babayiğit.
‘Exquisite artwork of silkworms’
Babayiğit, who indicated that silkworms turned into moth, spawned and completed their life cycle, said that silk became sheets like paper, and many lightening products were designed based on that. He said that he developed do it yourself set called “Lampy” so that people could produce their own silk. Babayiğit stated the following:
“The product is as big as a shoe box. The set includes silkworm eggs, user and instruction guide, lamb, and platform. They can take care of silkworms in this box. When they get bigger, they are placed on the platform so they can weave silk. The silk can be placed on an embroidery hoop and turned into a filter. This hoop can be easily placed on the lamp. Each woven sheet is unique which makes it very exquisite.”
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