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Chinese silk, preserving a precious heritage

China is making efforts to promote the creative design talent of silk docking enterprises and enhance corporate creative design capabilities. Silk was first made by the Chinese about 4,000 years ago.

According to legend, the first silk thread was made when a Chinese empress was sitting under a mulberry tree, and a cocoon fell into her tea; she noticed the strong, silky threads of the cocoon uncoiling. It is said that the empress then experimented with silkworms and developed the use of silk in weaving around 2400 BC.

Silk soon became very important to the Chinese economy, and it remained a Chinese secret for thousands of years, due in part to the Great Wall of China. The Chinese traded precious silk fabric to the rest of the world via the Silk Road, an overland trade route from China through the deserts of Central Asia to the West. The secret methods of raising silkworms and making silk were brought to Japan in the third century AD.

Silk thread is made from the cocoon of the silkworm moth, a small moth whose caterpillar eats the leaves of the mulberry tree. The white cocoon is dropped into boiling water, and the silk thread is unwound. Each cocoon yields about 500 to 1,200 yards of silk.