|Kalahari Wild SilkGonometa postica is commonly known as the African wild silk moth. It is a large species of moth most notable for producing a cocoon of fine quality wild silk. The cocoons are typically spun on the branches of acacia trees in the Kalahari. The moth emerges from its cocoon every November to December and thereafter, abandons the cocoon on the ground around the tree, where it may be ingested by farm and wild animals with disastrous results; the cocoons swell in the stomachs of animals resulting in death by suffocation, dehydration and starvation.
Ian Cummings helped establish the Kalahari Wild Silk project in the small settlement of Leonardville, in 2002, on the edge of the Kalahari in an effort to combat the deaths of farm and wild animals. He was supported in this endeavour by funding from Oxfam Canada and the local Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development. Cummings, a silk industry professional, had gained much of his expertise in Madagascar, where wild silk had been harvested successfully for centuries.
Community members in Leonardville were trained to identify, gather, process and weave the silk of the cocoons, which is naturally brownish in colour. Only cocoons discarded by moths are gathered to ensure the next harvest of cocoons and the survival of the species. The Kalahari silk thread harvested from the cocoons is thicker and tougher than Asian silk but responds very well to commercial colour treatments. Every Namibian in the supply and production chain is rewarded for their contribution to the final product: Kalahari Wild Silk.
Long, soft scarves made of Kalahari Wild Silk are particularly and stunningly beautiful. An awesome array of attractive colours suited to every wardrobe and style palette such as khaki, golden yellow, royal blue, cerise, burnt red and natural tan to name but a few, creates a desire to own as many silk scarves as possible. Kalahari Wild Silk is 100% natural and Namibian, making it the perfect gift and trendy fashion item to support a crucial employment and conservation project on the edge of the great Kalahari.