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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Unraveling the Silk Cocoon in Suzhou

 This is on display almost 100% for tourists, but somehow I managed to enjoy it anyway.  We watched the entire process from start to finish.  The worms are gross, unless you are looking for a good meal from eating them.  Big and fat, and it is just hard to believe they produce such beautiful things.  The properties of silk are so magnificent that you can understand how they powered an international trade.  Watching the cocoons going through the numerous steps to become woven into silk made me want to know more about the Silk Road, and to travel along it as well.  The seeking out of beautiful things is very old indeed.
I could watch this for hours.  Each wound spool is 8-ply, so there are 8 cocoons under each one spool.  The store at the end of the tour had one thing that I wished I could have fit into my suitcase, which was a silk quilt.  So light and warm and really soft.  I loved some of the jacquard woven fabric, and did bring a meter of one home, but really, I do not quilt with silk and it seemed like giving in to a weakness rather than getting something that I would really use, but time will tell.  In any case, go to Suzhou for the gardens, but don't skip the silk factory tour. 

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