Monday, 11 August 2008

The Silk Factory - Suzhou

Mul Entrance to the restaurant at the Silk factory

Silk gown in Silk Museum

In the silk museum

In the silk factory

Cocoons on racks in the silk factory

Display of "silkworms"

Mulberry Leaves at the silk factory.

The tour to Suzhou was a long day - 10 hours to be exact. One of the highlights was visiting the silk factory there. Our first stop at the silk factory was the restaurant for a wonderful Chinese banquet lunch. It was rather odd that several of our group were vegetarians and they were ushered to another part of the restaurant and we non-vegetarians sat together.

After lunch we visited the factory itself. Just before the entrance was a stand of mulberry trees. The preferred food of silk worms.

Mulberry trees are fairly common here in Queensland - I don't know the history of these trees, but I do know that anyone who grows silk worms at home always knows where to find the precious leaves for their worms. One I remember is on the banks of the Brisbane River at Bulimba - I have not kept silk worms here, but feasted on the mulberry!

The display was awesome. Every detail of the growth of the silk worm was on display, and we were able to walk through the factory to see how the treasured silk thread is harvested from the cocoon. In one museum were wonderful silk clothes - some ancient garments with wonderful embroidery.

One awesome display was how they make silk quilts - and I hope I can upload the short movie for this site. It was amazing.

There was much to see. At the end of the tour through the factory, we wandered through the retail section which was amazing. It was similar to a huge department store with so many products manufactored from silk. The first area was where silk quilts, sheets, etc were on full display and there were some very beautiful products on display.

I wandered around - wishing I had more room in my suitcase and more money in my wallet!!!

I hope that one day I can return to the Silk Factory - although I am sure there are some closer to Shaoxing.


On a Whimsey said...

What a fascinating insight to the world of silk quilts and silk worms!

Thank you so much for sharing this trip.

Di Hill said...

Thank you for your comment on a whimsey. Fascinating place is China.