History for Kids >> Old ChinaWhat is silk?Silk is a thin, however strong fiber that silkworms produce as soon as they are making their cocoons. It can be wcooktop into a really soft and also smooth cloth. Silk fabric was invented in Old China and also played a crucial function in their culture and also economy for hundreds of years.

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Court Ladies making Silk by Huizong of Song
Legend of SilkLegend has it that the procedure for making silk towel was first invented by the wife of the Yellow Emperor, Leizu, about the year 2696 BC. The idea for silk initially involved Leizu while she was having tea in the royal gardens. A cocoon dropped right into her tea and unraveled. She noticed that the cocoon was actually made from a long thcheck out that was both strong and also soft.Leizu then found just how to incorporate the silk fibers into a thcheck out. She additionally developed the silk loom that linked the threads right into a soft towel. Soon Leizu had a woodland of mulberry trees for the silkworms to feed on and also taught the rest of China how to make silk.
Making SilkThe ancient Chinese bred special moths to create the top quality silk they wanted. Here are the steps in the procedure for making silk:A moth lays 500 or so eggs and then diesBaby worms hatch from the eggs are fed mulberry leaves for one month until they are fatThe worms spin cocoonsThe cocoons are steamed to kill the flourishing moth insideThe cocoons are rinsed in warm water to loosen the threadsWomen would unwind the cocoons and also then integrate 6 or so fibers right into silk threadsThe threads are wstove right into clothThe fabric is then pounded to make it softerSilk in Chinese CultureSilk fabric was extremely valuable in Ancient China. Wearing silk was an essential status symbol. At initially, just members of the royal household were enabled to wear silk. Later, silk clothes was minimal to only the noble class. Merchants and also peasants were not permitted to wear silk. Silk was also offered as money during some Old Chinese dynasties.Keeping Silk a SecretSilk became a prized export for the Chinese. Nobles and also majesties of international lands preferred silk and would certainly pay high prices for the cloth. The emperors of China wanted to keep the process for making silk a secret. Anyone captured telling the key or taking silkworms out of China was put to fatality.Smuggling SilkThe Chinese regulated to keep silk a secret for over 1000 years. However before, in 550 AD the key of silk came to be recognized to other countries once 2 monks from the Oriental Realm regulated to smuggle some silkworm eggs out of the country. They hid the eggs inside of their bamboo walking sticks.
Interesting Facts around SilkIt wasn"t till the Qing dynasty, which ruled from 1644 to 1911, that peasants were permitted to wear silk clothing.Silk was offered for other functions than apparel such a document, fishing lines, bowstrings, and also canvas for paint.Around the thirteenth century, Italy became among the significant producers of silk. Some of the ideal silk in the civilization is made in Italy this day.Silk clothes was regularly embroidered through deindicators. The the majority of well-known deindicators were of flowers and also birds.Silk was such a critical product from China that the trade route from Europe to China became recognized as the Silk Roadway.

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ActivitiesListen to a taped reading of this page:Your web browser does not support the audio aspect.For more indevelopment on the world of Old China:
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