The production of silk (sericulture) has a rich, interesting and utterly fabulous history unknown to most. Until now that is...
As pure silk enthusiasts, we are enchanted by every step in the history of silk and want to reveal all of the secrets of its origin to you.
Where Was Silk First MadeChinese legend has it that silk was discovered by Lady Hsi-Ling-Shih, the wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor who ruled China 3000BC. Also known as the Goddess Of Silk, it is with her that Chinese silk history began.
One afternoon, whilst sat under a mulberry tree, a cocoon fell into the empress’s cup of tea. As if by fate the cocoon unravelled bringing about the mystical beauty of what we now know to be silk right before her eyes. Understandably, she was so enamoured by this fibre she had to find the source of the cocoon. She then, of course, found it to be the mystical silkworm, and for the rest of her life, she dedicated herself to silk production.
This is the earliest reference to silk history and although it may just be a legend, we think it is a beautifully fitting tale for the origin of silk.
Chinese Silk HistoryIt comes as no surprise that after the invention of silk it as reserved exclusively for the ruler and his close relations. It is said that the ruler and his family would wear specific colours depending on where they were. Outside they would wear yellow silk to represent the Earth. When indoors, much like us here at The Silk Boutique, they knew the indulgent properties of white silk. Find your inner empress and see more about our white silk camisole here.
As time went on, silk became more accessible and firmly found itself to be an essential fabric in Chinese culture. Like us, they were in love with its attractive properties when worn as garments. It also was used for musical instruments, fishing lines, luxury paper and even a form of payment.
<h2> Silk Spreads From China</h2>
As silk production spread across China it took until 300AD before the practice reached India. Legend has it that a Khotan (now Hetian) prince won the heart of a Chinese princess. When she escaped from China she brought silkmoth eggs with her, secretly smuggled in her voluminous hair. Even though the secret was out from China, it would still be a long time until it reached Europe….
Around 550AD, two monks arrived at the Emperor of Byzantine’s court, smuggling silk moth eggs. The monks carefully nurtured the silkmoths creating silk, and beginning their own silk industry. Like all who came across silk, they too loved its properties and tried to keep it secret. In fact, it took until the 1100s before silk production was finally established in Europe.
Today silk is still probably the most luxurious fabric in the world. Admired by all who come into contact with it and for a very good reason. Find out just why silk is so special to us here.
At The Silk Boutique, we cherish silk garments and each prestigious piece is made as both an homage to the astounding history but also with a modern twist you will not find anywhere else. Click here to browse our range of silk lingerie and invite luxury into your everyday. #MyLuxury