One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A place where silk is obtained from silkworm cocoons.
- ‘Lynda Bell's meticulous study looks at the peasant families which carried out the earliest stages of silk production, the rearing of the cocoons and the preparation of the silk filament in filatures.’
- ‘Nearly every peasant household in the area engaged in cocoon production for the urban-based silk filatures.’
- ‘In my work as factory inspector, one of the most miserable experiences was to see the incredible torture of the young children working on the then existing system in silk filatures.’
- 1.1mass noun The process of obtaining silk from the cocoons of silkworms.
- ‘Her detailed, painstaking research examines every aspect of the cocoon-producing and filature business.’
Mid 18th century: from French, from Italian filatura, from filare ‘to spin’.
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