Introducing the Silk (Si Chou)
Silk is one of China's contributions to the world. China is the first country to manufacture and use silk. According to the legend, Lai Zu, wife of the Yellow Emperor (2717-2599BC), taught the ancient Chinese people the technique of sericulture. Since the ancient times, silk has been one of China's exports. Chinese fine silks were exported during the Western Han Dynasty in the 2th century BC. A portion of the exports was shipped to Korean and Japan, but the majority was carried in camels' back along the famous caravan route known as the “Silk Road” to the Middle East, and eventually reaching Western Europe. So far as texture and workmanship are concerned, there are four kinds of Chinese silk which can be ranged as the finest and most popular. They are made respectively in Jiangsu, Hunan, Sichuan and Guangdong Provinces. After thousands of years of development and influenced by geographical conditions, local customs, art and culture, each of these silks has evolved a style of its own and some characteristics. Some favor fine composition, bright color and great varieties, and some lay stress on naturalness and follow the principle that the silk thread should go with the growth or development of the things or animals to be embroidered. With its unique texture, exquisite skills, and strong national style, Chinese silk has become more and more popular throughout the world.