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Do You Know the History of Silk? (Part One)

Views: 92     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-10-22      Origin: Site

China is the hometown of silk. Silk is one of the important characteristics of Chinese civilization. It has many connections with Chinese ceremonial systems, culture and art, customs, science and technology. The ancient Chinese people invented and mass-produced silk products, and opened the first large-scale commercial exchange between the East and the West in the history of the world. Let us walk into the historical corridor of silk and understand the wonderful world of silk. 

Initial development

According to archaeological findings, experts speculated that in the middle of the Neolithic period, China began to raise silkworms and weave silk. It is a half silkworm cocoon that was discovered in Xiyin Village, Xia County, Shanxi Province in 1926. The clam shell is about 1.36 cm long and has a width of about 1.04 cm. It is cut off with a sharp blade. which provides a real thing for people to study the origin of silk.

silk clothing

Shang and Zhou period

The Shang Dynasty agriculture has developed greatly, and the sericulture industry has also formed a certain scale. Although the number of commercial silk fabrics discovered by archaeology has been limited, jacquard fabrics have appeared, which indicates that the weaving technology at that time has reached a considerable level. During the Western Zhou Dynasty, the rulers' opponents had strict organization and management of industrial production, and silk production technology has improved compared with the Shang Dynasty. 

The Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period was a period of transition from slavery to feudalism in Chinese history. The silkworm industry was valued, and the development of agriculture and mulberry became an important national policy for the rich countries and the strong. During the Warring States period, the specialized division of labor for silk production became more apparent, and some technologies were passed down from generation to generation and reached a fairly high level. 

Qin and Han Dynasties

The Qin and Han Dynasties were the period of initial consolidation and development of the feudal society in China. The unification of Qin and the establishment of a centralized system laid the foundation for the prosperity of the Han Dynasty. The large-scale official silk industry has been established, and its products mainly meet the needs of the court and the government; the private silk industry has also developed greatly, and some workshops have formed their own product features and popularity. The silk producing area has developed compared with the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. Since the Eastern Han Dynasty, the brocade in the southwest has become a nationally famous silk product. With the large-scale expansion of the Han Dynasty in China, the trade and output of silk reached an unprecedented level of prosperity. 


Wei Jin period

During the Wei, Jin and Southern and Northern Dynasties, the war continued, the country split for a long time, and the regime changed frequently. Although the development of silk production is difficult, it is rich in content and diverse in appearance. During this period, the north was still the main producing area of silk fabrics. It was further developed after the operation of the Southern Dynasties, laying the foundation for the rise of Jiangnan silk weaving industry after the middle Tang Dynasty.

The long-term wars in the Three Kingdoms, Wei and Jin Dynasties, and the Northern and Southern Dynasties caused serious damage to the Yellow River Basin economy. In the Sui Dynasty, the focus of the Chinese sericulture silk industry has shifted to the Yangtze River basin.

Pay attention to us to get the history of silk development after Wei and Jin Dynasties.

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