Monday, 13 February 2012

Chinese Silk Painting

Chinese Silk Painting

There is a Chinese legend which tells the story of the origin of silk - in the 27th century BCE a silk worms cocoon fell into the tea cup of the empress Leizu, the 14 year old wife of the Yellow Emperor. As she lifted out the cocoon it began to unravel and she was enthralled by this lovely soft thread.She found that by wrapping several threads together she could make a strong thread that could be woven and is credited with inventing the first loom and starting the production of silk.

It is believed that the Chinese introduced silk painting in the 27th century BCE (Before Current Era) and it remained exclusive to China until the Silk Road opened during the first millennium BC opening thousands of miles of interconnected trade routes across Asia, Africa and Europe.

The Chinese tried to keep the method of making silk to themselves and managed this for many years. Eventually the Japanese discovered their secret, managed to obtain silkworm eggs and silk production became widespread.

Today silk painting is flourishing thanks partly to the many books now available and increasing numbers of craft suppliers who specialise in silk painting equipment.

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