It is amazing to think that the earliest silk fabric was made about five thousand years ago in China. For many years this remained a closely guarded secret. Later in 12th century Chinese merchants traded silk in the Middle east and India. Along with that the secret of silk making was also transported to new lands. In the 17th century parts of Europe started manufacturing silk. The path by which the secret of silk trade travelled was known as the “Silk road’.
Silk is made by the larvae of silk moth . The caterpillar feeds on mulberry leaves for six to eight weeks and spins itself a cocoon with silk threads. At this stage, the humble silk maker’s life comes to and end. The chrysalis is boiled in hot water or exposed to steam to take out the silk threads. About two or three thousand feet of silk is produced from one cocoon. The thread is cleaned and woven with multiple strands to make it sturdy. It is dyed and woven into different types of fabric like satin, damask, brocade etc.