A brief history
It was the chinese, as long as 4,500 years ago, who first discovered a silk cocoon. After careful observation and research, they managed to domesticate the silkworm and for a very long time they maintained a monopoly on silk production. There are several stories that claim to explain how the secret of silk reached the West. One of the most charming is that in AD 552 two monks on a mission to Asia came to Byzantium with silkworm eggs hidden inside their bamboo walking sticks.
It is more likely, however, that trading links between China and Persia first introduced the secret of silk weaving to Asia Minor and Greece. From there, caravans of traders brought silks to western countries along the routes that eventually became known as the SILK ROADS.
In the wake of Arab ascendancy in the Middle East, North Africa and Spain, sericulture ( the cultivation of the silkworm) was introduced to these regions, and the west began to make its own silk. In the 10th century, Andalusia was Europe’s main silk-producing center. As commercial exchanges between East and West grew, there was ever- increasing use of silk. And by the 12th century, the Italian silk industry had begun. (excerpt from “The Textile Art” by Melanie Paine)
Benefits of Silk
Now before you buy silk you may want to know a few benefits of this natural material and you probably think why should I buy Silk?
Silk is not only a luxurious fabric but it has many health benefits. Because of its natural protein structure, silk is the most hypoallergenic of all fabrics. It is hence beneficial for people with Asthma and skin allergies.
Silk takes dye superbly so that it sings with color.
It has temperature-regulating properties that means it is warm in winters and cool in summer.
It is immensely strong material and surpass steel in tensile strength, it is the strongest natural fiber.
It is highly absorbent material and will absorb up to 30% moisture of its weight without feeling damp.
Its wrinkle and tear resistant and dries quickly.
- Its odor resistant and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
So go ahead give silk a try. You won't regret it.