Skip to content
Site Tools
Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color blue color green color
Silk
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

         Silk
China is the earliest country to have produced silk (sī chóu 丝绸). Silk is a symbol of the ancient culture of China. Legend has it that Lei Zu (léi zǔ 嫘祖), wife of Emperor Huangdi (huáng dì 黄帝), invented sericulture (yǎng cán 养蚕), silk reeling (sāo sī 缫丝) and weaving. Chinese archaeologists believe the technology of silk weaving has at least a history of more than 4000 years.

Silk ClothesDuring Neolithic Age (xīn shí qì shí dài 新石器时代), China had begun to raise silk worms and weave silk. Silk production began to take shape in Shang (shāng 商) Dynasty, and the workmanship was improved. To the Qin (qín 秦) and Han (hàn 汉) dynasties, silk production was in a great development.

Silks were originally reserved for the Kings of China for their own use and gifts to others, but spread gradually through Chinese culture and trade both geographically and socially, and then to many regions of Asia. Silk rapidly became a popular luxury fabric in the many areas accessible to Chinese merchants because of its texture and luster.

Silk RoadIn Han Dynasty, Zhang Qian (zhāng qiān 张骞), a famous diplomat of the time, opened up the "Silk Road" (sī chóu zhī lù 丝绸之路). The road was started in ancient Chang’an (cháng ān 长安), by way of Gansu (gān sù 甘肃), Xinjiang (xīn jiāng 新疆), leading its way to Central Asia, West Asia and then to Europe. Silk was continuously transported to the western countries along the road. Silk trading and exporting was unprecedentedly prosperous. The trading has promoted the economy and cultural exchange between China and the neighboring country and middle plains of China and the border land. Silk Road has not only brought the beautiful clothes to the western world, but also the splendid ancient oriental civilization.

Westerners were very fond of Chinese silk. It is said that during the first century AD, a Roman emperor went to a theater wearing silk, which made a great stir in the audience. Since then, people wished to wear clothes made of Chinese silk. China, therefore, was called the “Silk Country”(sī guó 丝国).

丝绸
      丝绸是中国古老文化的象征,中国古老的丝绸业为中华民族文化织绣了光辉的篇。几千年前,当丝绸沿着古丝绸之路传向欧洲,它所带去的,不仅仅是一件件华美的服饰、饰品,更是东方古老灿烂的文明,丝绸从那时起,几乎就成为了东方文明的传播者和象征。目前已知的最早丝织物,是出土于距今约4700年良诸文化的遗址。中国人工养蚕则最可以追溯到公元前三世纪。

Silk Clothes      关于丝绸中国有一个悠远的传说:远古时代,黄帝打败了蚩尤,"蚕神"亲自将她吐的丝奉献出来以示敬意。黄帝命人将丝织成了绢,以绢缝衣,穿着异常舒服。黄帝之妻西陵氏嫘祖便去寻找能吐丝的蚕种,采桑饲蚕。后世民间崇奉嫘祖为养蚕的蚕神,黄帝为织丝的机神。采桑养蚕与制丝织绸,便成了中国古代社会几千年的基本劳作手段。

      新石器时期中期,中国便开始了养蚕、取丝、织绸了。到了商代,丝绸生产已经初具规模,具有较高的工艺水平,有了复杂的织机和织造手艺。

      到了秦汉时期,丝织业不但得到了大发展,而且随着汉代中国对外的大规模扩展影响,丝绸的贸易和输出达到空前繁荣的地步。贸易的推动使得中原和边疆、中国和东西邻邦的经济、文化交流进一步发展,从而形成了著名的"丝绸之路"。这条路从古长安出发,经甘肃、新疆一直西去,经过中亚、西亚,最终抵达欧洲。公元前126年,在汉武帝的西进政策下,大量中国丝绸通过"丝绸之路"向西运输。

      唐朝是丝绸生产的鼎盛时期,无论产量、质量和品种都达到了前所未有的水平。丝绸的生产组织分为宫廷手工业、农村副业和独立手工业三种,规模较前代大大扩充了。同时,丝绸的对外贸易也得到巨大的发展,不但"丝绸之路"的通道增加到了三条,而且贸易的频繁程度也空前高涨。丝绸的生产和贸易为唐代的繁荣做出了巨大的贡献。

      宋元时期,随着蚕桑技术的进步,中国丝绸有过短暂的辉煌。不但丝绸的花色品种有明显的增加,而且对蚕桑生产技术的总结和推广也取得了很大的突破。

      明清两代,由于资本主义的萌芽与发展,丝绸的生产与贸易也发生了较大的变化:丝绸生产的商品化趋势日渐明显,丝绸的海外贸易发展迅速。但是,在清国时期,封建制度对生产力的阻碍也十分突出,中国丝绸业在苛捐杂税和洋稠倾销的双重打击下,陷入了十分可悲的境地。

      中华人民共和国成立后,丝绸业进入了一个新的历史时期。经过多年的努力,中国又争得了在世界丝绸市场上的主导地位,丝绸业成为国家的创汇支柱产业。我国丝绸更得到了迅速发展,建成较完整的丝绸业体系,丝绸产品已行销全世界100多个国家和地区。我国古老的丝绸在改革开放的新形势下,正焕发出新的青春,走向灿烂的未来。

 

Sponsor Ads

China Yellow Pages