Do you like Chinese silk robes very much? This beautiful natural substance was an important export for the imperial dynasties for many years, and it is still in high demand wherever the silky material is found. When silkworms spin cocoons, they produce silk. It is a soft but strong material. Silkworms use a protein called fibroin to make their cocoons. Silky and smooth cloth may be made out of it. Silk fabric was first made in ancient China and was an important part of the culture and economy of that country for thousands of years. China makes about 150,000 metric tons of products every year. More than 78 percent of the world’s silk is made in all other countries. India is the only other country with industries about the same size. It takes about 30,000 metric tons.
The Story of Silk:
It is said that Leizu, the Yellow Emperor’s wife, came up with the first way to make silk fabric around 2696 BC. The story says that she did it around this time. Leizu got the idea to make silk for the first time while she was drinking tea in the royal gardens. In the tea she was drinking, there was a broken cocoon. Cocoon was fashioned from a strong and flexible thread that she discovered.
Then Leizu figured out how to make a thread from the individual strands of silk. She also made the silk loom, which wove the strands of silk together to create a silky fabric. It wasn’t long before Leizu raised silkworms and taught the rest of China how to create them.
How Silk Fits into Chinese Culture?
Silk fabrics were very valuable to the ancient Chinese. In the past, wearing silk clothes was a sign of high status. In the end, everyone could wear silk. In later times, only wealthy people were allowed to wear clothes made of silk. It was against the law for merchants and peasants to wear silk clothes. Silk was even employed as money in several early Chinese dynasties.
The ancient Chinese raised different kinds of moths as pets so they could make silk of the right quality. Here are the additional steps that go into making silk:
- Before she dies, a female moth will lay about 500 eggs.
- Once the young worms come out of their eggs, they eat mulberry leaves for one month, which helps them gain weight.
- The worms make their cocoons.
- When the cocoons are heated, the moths inside them stop growing and die.
- The threads come loose from the cocoons after they are rinsed in hot water.
- Women took the cocoons apart and mixed six to eight strands to make silk threads.
- The fabric is created by weaving the strands together.
- The fabric is then hammered to make it softer and more comfortable to wear.
Upkeep by Cleaning:
For the best results, wash the item in lukewarm water with a mild detergent, rinse it well, and then wrap it in a towel to soak up any extra moisture. Chinese silk robe will lose its shine and change color if left in the sun for a long time. Making drapes and curtains out of silk is not a good idea. There are many kinds of silk clothes that can be cleaned by hand. Keep the bright colors away from the darker ones. Sweat-stained clothing should be washed as quickly as possible in cold water. Insects are attracted to both sweat and food stains. If you need to iron the clothes, turn them inside out and put the iron on a low setting. The best method of cleaning fragile silks is dry cleaning. To keep the colors from running, you should do the same thing with scarves that have been hand-dyed or printed in more than one color.
As time passed in history, the robe gave way to the development of what we now call a bathrobe. After bathing or other comparable activities, like swimming, people often wear robes. In Europe, people would often take a bath in a public bathhouse with others who were also taking a bath. In these countries, putting on a bathrobe right after getting out of the shower was common to stay warm and keep your privacy. People wear bathrobes for this reason and several others that are very similar. Today, men’s and women’s bathrobes are based on past ones, and there is a huge range of materials, colors, and patterns to choose from.