Weaving Sea Silk: Chiara Vigo is the only woman in the world who still works the byssus

In Arts and Culture

The byssus is a fine fabric produced from the velvety strand of the noble pen shell, or pinna nobilis, an endangered fan-shaped species of mollusc, native of the Mediterranean Sea bed. Originally, the pen shell used to be fished in order to pull the byssus out, but Chiara has come up with a special cut so that she can take the secreted material without killing the precious animal.