Silkworms make their cocoons from a shiny fiber that they produce. To obtain silk, the worms are boiled or steamed alive by the thousands.
Up until to now, the only way to unravel silk was to boil or steam alive the cocoons, killing the silkworms inside. Mohandas Gandhi criticized the process, as have modern animal rights activists.
Alternatives include rayon and nylon.
Animal Action Network
A non-profit Colorado Group Working for Compassion