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Silk
China is the earliest country to have produced silk. Silk is a symbol of the ancient culture of China. Legend has it that Lei Zu, wife of Emperor Huangdi, invented sericulture, silk reeling and weaving. Chinese archaeologists believe the technology of silk weaving has at least a history of more than 4000 years.
During Neolithic Age , China had begun to raise silk worms and weave silk. Silk production began to take shape in Shang Dynasty, and the workmanship was improved. To the Qin and Han dynasties, silk production was in a great development.
Silks were originally reserved for the Kings of China for their own use and gifts to others, but spread gradually through Chinese culture and trade both geographically and socially, and then to many regions of Asia. Silk rapidly became a popular luxury fabric in the many areas accessible to Chinese merchants because of its texture and luster.
In Han Dynasty, Zhang Qian, a famous diplomat of the time, opened up the "Silk Road". The road was started in ancient Chang’an, by way of Gansu, Xinjiang. Asia and then to Europe. Silk was continuously transported to the western countries along the road. Silk trading and exporting was unprecedentedly prosperous. The trading has promoted the economy and cultural exchange between China and the neighboring country and middle plains of China and the border land. Silk Road has not only brought the beautiful clothes to the western world, but also the splendid ancient oriental civilization.
Westerners were very fond of Chinese silk. It is said that during the first century AD, a Roman emperor went to a theater wearing silk, which made a great stir in the audience. Since then, people wished to wear clothes made of Chinese silk. China, therefore, was called the “Silk Country”.
 
 
Source:history.cultural-china.com
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