Soft and pure, silk has come down to us over thousands of years. Sultans once worn silk caftans, palaces were furnished with fine silk carpets. Today silk is a fashionable fabric for garments. And it’s all made by a tiny insect, the silkworm. Here is the story, pure and simple, of silk and the silkworm.
Because of this fabric, which soothes the eye and caresses the skin, thousands of kilometers of caravan routes developed over the centuries and became known as the Silk Road. The Chinese were the first to discover the silkworm and obtain silk from it. Starting to raise silkworms in 2600 B.C., they found ways of producing silk and began selling the valuable cloth to the four corners of the world.
Silk production in Turkey commenced about 1500 years ago. Developed to an art by the Ottomans, it remains an important branch of industry today. Bursa is the first place that comes to mind at the mention of silk in Turkey. Silk and the raising of silkworms was so highly developed here that an inn for caravans was erected in its name. Known as the ‘Koza Han’ or ‘Cocoon Inn’, silkworm growers used to arrive here with baskets full of cocoons which they sold to merchants.