a) Bombyx mori larvae feeding on mulberry leaves sprayed with Direct Acid Fast Red
b) Silkworm larvae spinning coccoons
c) colored cocoons
d) Direct Acid Fast Red threads after degumming.ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering DOI: 10.1021/sc400355k.
None of the tested dyes adversely affected the silkworms. They were perfectly happy to munch on the colored leaves and spin their cocoons. Meanwhile, manufacturing the colored silk did not require the huge amounts of water or hazardous chemicals nor produce the toxic wastewater that conventional silk dying entails.
The researchers are continuing to experiment, hoping to increase the number of natural silk colors they can create. The more, the better for everyone.