When Louise Rienzi wrote her guide on General Instructions for Rearing Silkworms, in 1887, she was part of a movement attempting to establish a viable silk industry for the United States. The epicenter of the new industry was California, where Louis Prevost, a French botanist, was the first to grow silkworms and produce cocoons, in 1860. The physical environment was favorable, and the industry saw some success before it eventually faded.
Several groups were formed to promote the industry, including the State Board of Silk Culture in San Jose. This organization was responsible for printing and distributing Louise Rienzi’s sericultural manual in the late 1880s. Louise Rienzi also served as Secretary of the State Board and issued official reports on the monthly and annual meetings as well as the contributions of various committees, such as the Committee on Mulberry Trees, Eggs and Cocoons.