The Story of Silk ( Cont’d 3)

Silk was greatly valued and often used as currency or money. A man’s salary would be a certain length of silk per year. Silk garments were worn by Roman emperors, who called the Chinese Seres (Silk people). The clothes are beautiful, light and comfortable, being cool in summer and warm in winter.

The Story of Silk (Cont’d 2)

The cocoons are steamed to kill the worms inside, then they are dipped in hot water to loosen the silk filaments. These filaments are unwound and six to eight filaments are twisted together to make a silk thread. The threads are woven into cloth.

The Story of silk (Cont’d1)

Over the years, the Chinese were able to breed a species of silk moth that is blind and unable to fly. Each lays 500 or more eggs in a few days and then dies. After hatching, the baby worms are fed on freshly chopped mulberry leaves day and night for about a month until they become fat. Each then spins a cocoon around itself, and this is where the silk comes from. Every cocoon is made of a filament about 800 meters (875 yards) long.

The Story of Silk

Legend says that silk was first made by the wife of the Yellow Emperor 5000 years ago. She kept silkworms and invented the loom. Silk fragments, ribbons and threads dating from the 3000 BC have been found in eastern China