They give very nice fruit:
...and the leaves are used to feed silkworms which then make cocoons, and the cocoons are used to make wonderful mulberry silk. Traditionally, it was primarily produced in Ferghana valley, in the city of Margilan, but now they started production in Karakalpakstan (people there suffer from the Aral Sea disaster and certainly need to generate more income).
I know everyone knows about silkworms. I must confess I have never seen them live, but my distant relatives used to breed them to sell cocoons, and they had to pick a lot of mulberry leaves to feed the creatures.
I was just thinking, how lucky we are to have silk produced here, of our own raw materials. I am collecting vintage silk, and some fabrics are really beautiful. In the picture below you can see me hunting for my silk treasures in Bukhara:
And I think these fabrics are stunning - I draped my Arabella to see what it looks like:
The inner layer is chiffon, weightless like air, breathing and moving with every breath and movement of the owner. The upper layer is crepe de chine, matte and smooth and much heavier than chiffon. I have a chiffon top on sale here - the very last one, we only had enough fabric for three, and one is mine. And now I am thinking of making a draped blouse of the crepe de chine to wear them together (oh no! I have no space in my closet and I do not have enough days in the year to wear everything... however I think I will have a blouse, anyway. You can have one, too).