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date: 25 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Silk production was invented in China, where the development of its technology did not stop, having been stimulated especially by cultural exchange along the Silk Road. There were four steps of the development of silk technology on the Silk Road. All of the information is based on archaeological and scientific research rather than derived from historical or linguistic sources. The first development was of the ancient system during the Han dynasty in China (second century BCE–second century CE) consisting of sericulture in northern China, hand silk reeling, Chinese dyes, multiheddle patterning loom, and warp-faced pattern structure. This was succeeded by the Central Asian system in early middle period (second–seventh centuries CE): no-killing sericulture, silk spun from cocoons, Western dyes, the development of the picking-up patterning loom, and weft-faced pattern structure. The third step was the classical system in southern China (seventh–twelfth centuries CE) with the development of sericulture in southern China, treadle-controlled silk reeling, new Chinese dyes, the real drawloom, and both warp and weft pattern structure. Last comes the traditional system in Europe (thirteenth–sixteenth centuries CE), with sericulture and silk reeling in Europe, European dyes, and the development of the drawloom to the Jacquard loom, allowing new weaves and patterns.

Keywords: silk, sericulture, silkworm, mulberry, reel, loom, textile, dye, China, trade

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