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Chinese Silk History
- Mar 19, 2018 -

 Silk originated in China. The time of origin is different. According to historical literature, there are two more common arguments: one is to start sericulture as a cricket from Fuxi; the other is to raise sericulture when Huang Di. According to calculations, Fuxi was a person of the Paleolithic Age, and Huangdi was the leader of the tribal alliance in the Neolithic Age. Therefore, the former may refer to the use of wild silkworm cocoon, which may be the domestication of silkworms. The unearthed cultural relics that can be mutually confirmed with these documents are: 
  1 From 1975 to 1978, in the Neolithic site of Hemudu Village, Yuyao, Zhejiang Province (4000 years BC), a group of textile tools and dentine-shaped devices were found. Around this bug, a pattern similar to that of a peristaltic silkworm is engraved with a negative pattern, with a weave pattern (Fig. 1).

  2 In 1927, a half silkworm cocoon was found in the Yangshao cultural site (5000 BC - 3000 BC) in Xiyin Village, Xiaxian County, Shanxi Province. The silkworm cocoon was half cut by a sharp tool, indicating that humans were in contact with silkworm cocoons at that time. 
  3 In 1958, a group of silk and hemp textiles were discovered at the Qianshanjing site in Wuxing, Zhejiang Province (2700 BC). Among them were plain silk and silk ribbons and silk ribbons that were twisted with silk This finding convincingly proves that China's sericulture, spinning, silk weaving silk will not be later than this period. 
  Before the Xia Dynasty (2100 years ago, BC), it was the initial stage of silk production. It began to use silkworms to extract silk, and silk was woven into fabrics. From the Xia Dynasty to the end of the Warring States period (2100 BC to 221 BC), it was a period of development of silk production. In particular, silk weaving technology has made outstanding progress, and we have been able to use a variety of textures and color silk to weaving very fine silk fabrics. From the Qin Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty light years (221 BC ~ AD 1840) was a mature period of silk production. During this period, various processes and processes have been increasingly perfected. Manually-manufactured silk machines have been further completed and popularized. Silkworm silk production has formed a complete agricultural and commercial system. Especially since the Han and Tang Dynasties, silk and raw silk have been widely sold to Central Asia, Western Asia, the Mediterranean Sea, and Europe through the world-famous "silk rode " They have been widely welcomed by all countries and have promoted the exchange of trade, culture, and technology between East and West. Ancient Greeks and Romans therefore called China the "silk country." After the Opium War, until 1949, it was the decline of silk production. During the War of Resistance Against Japan, 2 million mu of mulberry was destroyed, and half of the silk factories were destroyed by artillery. Since then, the mulberry farmland has become ridiculous, the silkworm farmers have gone bankrupt, factories have closed down, workers have become unemployed, and the silk industry is in a dying state. Shanghai's silk reeling factory had reached 160 during its heyday (1929), but only two remained until 1949; only 37% of Shanghai and Hangzhou small silk weaving mills and workshops had normal production.
  After the founding of the People's Republic of China, the silk industry was rapidly restored and developed. In 1980, the amount of silkworm cocoon purchased was 7.9 times that of 1950. Raw silk production was 10.4 times, silk production was 14 times, raw silk export was 5 times, silk satin export was 11 times, and domestic sales satin rose 100 times. At the same time, continuously improve the quality of raw silk, from 1949 A, Class B to raise 3A level and above (raw silk quality is divided into 4A, 3A, 2A, A, B, C, D level), color varieties growing. Silk mills have partially used automatic reeling machines, automatic weaving machines, and other devices, and have explored techniques such as electronic computer control. In 1980, China's cocoon production and raw silk production accounted for 51% and 43% of the world's total production, respectively, ranking first. 
  Silk Production Silkworms may be used by humans to start feeding silkworm cocoons. It was then discovered that silk cocoons on the cocoon shells could be extracted, and later the silk cocoons were soaked in hot water and called The wild silkworms were first picked and then the wild silkworms were domesticated and stocked on the trees. There are many types of silkworms, and silkworms, which use mulberry leaves as their main food, have the best silk quality. Silkworm domestication and cocoon silk have already begun in the Zhou Dynasty. The silk fabrics of the Western Zhou Dynasty discovered in Fufeng, Shaanxi Province and Chaoyang, Liaoning Province have been identified as home silk fabrics. In the Zhou Dynasty, only fresh cocoon silk was used, and the new cockroach appeared. It must be completed within a few days, otherwise silkworms could not be cocooned. To Qin and Han, take measures such as delaying the moth, or killing the sun. By the time of the Southern and Northern Dynasties, the people had adopted the salting method to kill crickets. From the Tang Dynasty to the Five Dynasties, the court's "Salt Law" stipulated that there was a special salt used for pickling oysters. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the development of fire baking and baking has gradually developed, and simplehave appeared in rural Zhejiang Since then, the salted method has been replaced by baking. During the Shang and Zhou period, the was gradually completed. The silkworm cocoon has begun to be used according to different needs. When the Western Han Dynasty had been boiled with boiling water, the temperature of the boiled water was determined by visual observation, that is, the size of the crab eyes on the surface of the water is appropriate. In "Book of Rites and Sacrificial Rites", there is a more detailed description of the silk reeling process: "Good day, his wife Indicated that before the Zhou Dynasty or the Zhou Dynasty, in the process of silk reeling, in order to make the dice penetrate evenly, multiple dippings were taken and the vibrations of the bundles were grasped. The leno and other fabrics in thefrom theshow that The Han Dynasty not only produced fine raw silk and was evenly grained , but in the Yuan dynasty  said that the quality of raw silk must be fine, round, uniform, and tight. In the long-term production activities, people gradually explored some of the The experience of guaranteeing the high quality of raw silk, such as Song Yingxing in the Ming Dynasty , said in the : “The export is dry and the water is dry. "Export dry mainly refers to the management of clusters of silkworms when they are clustered, and it is necessary to create good conditions for camping. The clusters should be insulated, ventilated and dried so that silkworms can be exported when they spit. When the silk is unwinding, it can be “exhausted by one thread.” Dry water means that the silk should be able to follow the twist when dry, so that the silk is tough, and the color is crystal clear. The quality of the silk and the quality of the silk is very close. Water varies from place to place, for example, the famous “Gulisi” is the water from the , Zhejiang Province , and the silk color is particularly good.