Sep 19, 2014

Silk weaving is an age-old handicraft industry in China. Legend has it that Lei Zu, wife of the Yellow Emperor Xuanyuan, discovered silkworms and invented silk weaving. She was therefore honored as the God of Silkworms by later generations.

Thanks to Lei Zu's invention and her promotion effort, farmers in all areas began to grow mulberry trees and raise silkworms. Silkworm-raising is time and energy consuming. Farmers need to gather a large amount of mulberry leaves to feed the worms and keep a close eye on the larvae day and night during the spinning and cocooning period that lasts for over a month. They also need to keep a proper temperature during this period.

When cocoons are gathered, silk reeling begins. This process is to extract silk from the cocoons. The primitive silk reeling method was to immerse cocoons in a basin of hot water and to extract the silk by hand before winding it around a basket. Basins and baskets were primitive silk reeling tools.

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