Face to face –

The byssus (sea silk) cloth

“As upon that Cloth of cloths
the Lord's image left its mark.”

Johann-Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

The last of her kind, master byssus weaver Chiara Vigo, a native of Sardinia, stated on September 1, 2004 in Manoppello that the fabric of the cloth was byssus. She was impressed by the exquisite weave. This particular material is also known as mussel silk, because it is made from the anchor strands of the noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis). Byssus can be dyed with a small number of substances, but it is not possible to paint anything on it. It is neither water-soluble nor flammable, and is resistant to a variety of chemicals. The fibers can store light in a fashion similar to the way information is stored on a computer.