Mulberry silk produced in China
is the type most recognized
and used in silk garments. There
are at least seven additional silk
fiber sources. The Yoruba are
a large ethnic group in Nigeria
who use native silk that they call
sányán from the Anaphe moth
asoneof their most prized fiber
resources. Throughout colonial
and post-colonial history, both
Nigerians and others investigated
methods for domesticating wild
silk production. Yoruba strip cloth,
called aso-ôkè includes three
main categories: sânyân, etù and
atari, each appropriate for persons
of high social standing and for
important occasions, displaying
cultural significance. Cotton
becomes used as a substitute for
expensive silk yarns, being dyed
the traditional color of the silk
fabrics. To the Yoruba aesthetic,
the purpose of something is more
important than its actual form.
Even as weavers now produce the
traditionally sányán cloths with
substitute fibers, the cloth's glory
McKinney, E. A., & Eicher, J. B. An Unexpected luxury: Wild silk, fiber, yarn and fabric production among the Yoruba of Nigeria. 2005 Proceedings of the International Textiles and Apparel Association, #62, November 106, 2005, Alexandria, Virginia,
International Textiles and Apparel Association, Report;62
McKinney, E.A.; Eicher, J.B..
An Unexpected luxury: Wild silk, fiber, yarn and fabric production among the Yoruba of Nigeria..
International Textiles and Apparel Association.
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