(sil-ek') [siliqua, a husk or pod]. In biology, the slender, two-valved capsule of some Cruciferce.
Silk [ME.]. The simplest and most perfect of the textile fibers. It differs from all other fibers in that it is found in nature as a con- tinuous fine thread. Silk is the product of the silkworm(Bombyx mori), and is simply the fiber that the worm spins around itself for protection when entering the pupa or chry- salis state. The silk-fiber consists, to the extent of rather more than half its weight, of fibroin, C 15 H 23 N 5 6 , a nitrogenous principle. Covering this is the silk-glue, or sericin, C 15 - SILKWORM-GUT 886 SIMON'S POSTURE H 25 N 5 8 . The most important physical properties of the silk-fiber are its luster, strength, and avidity for moisture. Besides the true silk, we have several socalled "wild silks," the most important of which is the tusser silk, the product of the larva of the moth, Anther aa mylitta, found in India. The cocoons are much larger than those of the true silkworm, are egg-shaped, and of a silvery drab color. The cocoon is very firm and hard, and the silk is of a drab color. It is used for the buff-colored Indian silks, and latterly largely in the manufacture of silk plush. Other wild silks are the eria silk of India, the muga silk of Assam, the atlas or fagara silk of China, and the yama-mai silk of Japan. Silk has been used as a hemo- static. S., Epispastic, silk containing some vesicant. S. Floss, Dentists', untwisted filaments of fine silk prepared expressly for the purpose of cleaning the surfaces of the teeth, and used by some dentists for finishing the surfaces of fillings in the sides of teeth. S. Gelatin, a glutinous mass formed by boil- ing certain kinds of raw silk in water. It is used in bacteriology as a culture-medium for the majority of bacilli of water and air. S.-grass, pineapple fiber. S., Saddler's, a heavy silk used by saddlers and to some ex- tent in surgery. S., Tait's, cable twist; it differs from ordinary silk in containing the gums or animal matter imparted by the worm in the spinning process.
Silkworm-gut. The thread drawn from the silkworm killed when ready to spin the co- coon.