Chinese silk culture has a long history
In the middle of Neolithic Age, our ancestors began to raise silkworms, obtain silk and weave silk fabric. In Shang Dynasty, silk cloth production began to take shape and the craftwork level was quite high, with complex weaving machines and techniques. During Western Zhou Dynasty and the Spring & Autumn and Warring States Period, almost all the areas could produce silk cloth. During Qin and Han Dynasties, with the development of foreign exchange, silk cloth trade and export flourished. In Sui Dynasty, silk industry moved its center to the Yangtze River basins. And Tang Dynasty was the golden age of silk cloth production. Silk industry reached an unprecedented level in terms of output, quality and variety.
Ever since Song Dynasty, the Yangtze River basins has been the center of silk industry of China. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, as capitalism sprouted, silk cloth production began to get commercialized and overseas trade developed rapidly. In the middle 1800s, the Treaty of Five Ports Commercial Intercourse opened foreign markets and stimulated further development of the silk industry. Private handicraft workplaces in Hangzhou, Suzhou, Jiaxing, Huzhou, and Tongxiang emerged like bamboo shoots after a spring rain. And the silk cloth industry began a brand new age.