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Design & Technology
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Textiles-Silk Name: Course Name: Course Instructor: Date of Submission: Textiles-Silk Silk is a naturally occurring protein fibre with some forms which are woven into textiles. The silk protein fibre is mainly composed of fibroin which is produced by insect larvae forming cocoons.


Ancient Chinese first developed silk fabric, with the earliest examples dating back to 3500 BC. Legend gives credit to a Chinese empress, Hsi-Ling-Shih, Lei-Tzu for discovering silk. Legend has it that she was in her garden sipping tea when a cocoon fell into the cup and since the tea was hot; the long silk strand was loosened. Apparently, she later raised silkworms and made a loom which she used to make silk fabrics. Originally, silks were reserved for the Chinese Kings for their use and presents to others. They later spread gradually in the Chinese culture and traded socially and geographically in Asia. It became a luxury fabric in the areas with access to Chinese merchants due to its lusture and texture. The demand for silk skyrocketed and became a staple of international trade (Philippa, 1993). There is evidence of the trade in silk from silk found in the hair of a 21st dynasty mummy, c.1070 BC in Egypt. This trade reached as far as the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, North Africa, and Europe. The trade was very extensive such that the main trade route between Asia and Europe came to be named the Silk Road. The Chinese emperors tried to keep sericulture knowledge so as to maintain a monopoly. Nonetheless, it reached Korea by 200 BC, ancient Khotan in around 100 AD, and India around AD 140. ...
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