With its long history, Chinese silk has been one of the oldest “envoys” of Chinese culture. As early as the third century B.C., when colorful Chinese silk made its appearance in West Asia and Europe, a king of the Western world was shocked to see before his eyes the fleecy cloud-like, silk fabrics. It is said that a European emperor marveled at Chinese silk, exclaiming, “This is just like a dream!”

Suzhou is the generally recognized home of Chinese silk, or the silk capital of China. It is known to people who are interested in Chinese silk, that 90% of the genuine-silk trade in the world comes from China, and of the silk products exported from China, one third is from Suzhou. The large assortment of Suzhou silk, long known for its quality and beauty, finds a brisk market in more than 100 countries and regions around the world. It has been praised as a “mythical fairy”.

Silk production in Suzhou has a history of more than 2,000 years. During the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771B.C.), people in the Suzhou area began to grow mulberry trees, raise silkworms, reel silk and weave silk cloth. Later, Suzhou became the production and trade center in the Taihu Lake valley. In the latter half of the 20th century, silk industry attained a proportion never before known.