Silk is a fabric first produced in Neolithic China from the filaments of the cocoon of the silk worm. It became a staple source of income for small farmers and, as weaving techniques improved, the reputation of Chinese silk spread so that it became highly desired across the empires of the ancient world.
It expanded China's foreign economic trade and made the world know China. At the same time, it promoted the trade between China and other countries in the world, and achieved mutual benefit and reciprocity, laying a good foundation for future cooperation. In addition, silk also brought about the progress of the world.
The Silk Roads stretched across Eurasia, connecting East and West for centuries. At its height, the network of trade routes enabled merchants to travel from China to the Mediterranean Sea, carrying with them high-value commercial goods, the exchange of which encouraged urban growth and prosperity.
One obvious effect of trade along the Silk Road was more goods were available in more places. Silk, owing to its soft texture and appealing shimmer, became so hotly desired that it was used as currency in central Asia.
The Silk Road did not only promote commodity exchange but also cultural. For example, Buddhism as one of the religions of the Kushan kingdom reached China. Together with merchant caravans Buddhist monks went from India to Central Asia and China, preaching the new religion.
The Silk Road Legacy
The greatest value of the Silk Road was the exchange of culture. Art, religion, philosophy, technology, language, science, architecture, and every other element of civilization was exchanged along these routes, carried with the commercial goods the merchants traded from country to country.
Why was the Silk Road important? The Silk Road was important because it helped to generate trade and commerce between a number of different kingdoms and empires. This helped for ideas, culture, inventions, and unique products to spread across much of the settled world.
Silk is a very fine cloth known for its light, strong texture, and is often used to make clothing, scarves, neckties, and decorative wall hangings. In fact, the Chinese used silk to send arrows flying on curved wooden bows, for musical instruments, and for fishing lines.
Cultural and religious exchanges began to meander along the route, acting as a connection for a global network where East and West ideologies met. This led to the spread of many ideologies, cultures and even religions.
Silk was a status symbol in ancient China.
But, eventually, ordinary people started wearing silk. Silk was used to weave ceremonial garments and gifts to foreign dignitaries. Silk was so valued in ancient China that anyone found smuggling silkworm eggs, cocoons, or mulberry seeds was put to death.
2. What did China trade on the Silk Road? China exported tea, silk, porcelain, ornate bronze mirrors, lacquerware, medicines, and paper. In return, China received many kinds of products ranging from precious metals to horses, weapons, woolen goods, glassware, gold and silver, and precious stones and jewels.
The main people who profited from the Silk Road were the wealthy merchants who could afford to finance a trading expedition that would takes years and...
Merchants and peasants were not allowed to wear silk. Silk was even used as money during some Ancient Chinese dynasties. Silk became a prized export for the Chinese. Nobles and kings of foreign lands desired silk and would pay high prices for the cloth.
Silk production makes up less than 0.2% of the global fiber market, but is still a significant multi-billion dollar industry.
There is no such thing as vegan silk.
Because silk is made out of silkworms, even if it's with the fibron produced naturally by the insect in cruelty-free silk, it's still not considered vegan.
A soft, lightweight durable silk fabric, made in a plain or twill weave. It is one of the cheapest Silk fabrics available and is mainly used in lining. It tears very easily under pressure so it is important not to use it for tight fitting garments.
Silk and porcelain were the two bestselling products over the centuries of the Silk Road trade. Silk was the most valuable export on the Silk Road since it was light, easy to transport, and was said to be worth its weight in gold during the Roman era. Porcelain was heavier and fragile.
A Brief History of Silk
The production of silk originates in China in the Neolithic (Yangshao culture, 4th millennium BC). Silk remained confined to China until the Silk Road opened at some point during the later half of the first millennium BC.
Trade was very important for China because it helped China get extra surpluses exchanged for valuable supplies. China was able to get what it needed by trading what it had. Therefore trade was very helpful and played a major part in China's growth in history. It helped China grow wealthier and stronger.
The Silk Roads enriched the countries it passed through, transporting cultures, religions, languages and of course material goods into societies across Europe, Asia and Africa, and uniting them with a common thread of cultural heritage and pluralistic identities.
Curative herbs, ideas of astronomy, and even religion also moved along the Silk Road network. Arabs traveled to India and China, Chinese to Central Asia, India, and Iran. Buddhism itself was carried along these roads from India through Central Asia to Tibet, China, and Japan.
Who do you think benefited the most by the Silk Road: the East, West, or everyone? Why? Everyone (East and West) benefited from the Silk Road. It opened up trade, communication, different ideas, culture, and religion to the entire world.
In the process, the traders and their animals also passed along contagions, which spread slowly and gradually between points along the Silk Road. As bad luck would have it, the route also brought travelers in close proximity to what some researchers point to as a source for a particularly dangerous disease.
The impact of the Silk Road upon European and Asian civilizations was immense. Resulting in cultural diffusion on a massive scale the Silk Road provided a conduit for the migration of foreign ideals, philosophies, and religions.