Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fascinating piece about the bagworm moth!

Daily Japanese Textile

Pouch
Twigs and other found materials, bagworm silk, cultivated silk, thread
Patchwork

This cigarette-sized pouch is made of minomushi, or bagworm moth, cocoon panels. Bags and sashes made of bagworm cocoons enjoyed some popularity in the early 20th century. For this information, Daily Japanese Textile is indebted to Ms. Haruko Watanabe, the very knowledgeable owner of the wonderful Gallery Tsumugi in Tokyo, which specializes in a wide variety of antique Japanese textiles.

According to Wikipedia, bagworms “construct cases out of silk and environmental materials such as sand, soil, lichen, or plant materials.”

(Second bagworm photograph from What’s That Bug, and contributed by Ben.)

The Japanese word minomushi (literally, straw coat insect) derives from the visual similarity between the straw coat once worn by the Japanese to protect against rain and snow and the minomushi’s cocoon.

(This photograph by Baron Raimund von Stillfried-Rathenitz, ca. 1880.)

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