Category: silk

collectorsweekly:

Vintage Hermes scarves.

The Romans who stole Silk from China

During the 6th century the Eastern Roman Empire (known as the Byzantine Empire by historians) became an important center of politics, culture, and commerce in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. What made the empire especially powerful was it’s access to the Silk Road, and thus control of goods from India and China. One of the most popular goods traded from China was silk, a good which China maintained a strict monopoly over. This posed a problem as the Persian Sassanid Empire controlled many of the trade routes to India, and thus could levy high tariffs on the good or cut off supply entirely. The Persians had been longtime enemies of the Roman Empire going back to the days of Julius Caesar, thus the Byzantines needed to find a way to circumvent Persia’s control over the Silk Road

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In 552 AD two monks approached the Emperor Justinian I with a plan. The two monks had been part of a mission to spread Christianity to India, and had traveled as far as China. There they learned the secret of Chinese silk making, and had learned that raw silk is produced from a species of worm that fed on mulberry leaves.

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The monks planned to steal some of the worms and smuggle them back to Byzantium. Justinian approved the plan and the monks immediately journeyed east. A year later they arrived in China, where they stole silkworm eggs or larvae which they hid in special compartments in their walking canes. It was not long after the monks returned home that the empire set up silk factories in Constantinople, Antioch, Tyre, and Thebes.

Byzantine silk was not as good of quality as Chinese silk, instead what was produced was a lesser grade knockoff. However it was still very popular as it was more affordable than real Chinese silk. The Eastern Roman Empire’s trade in domestically produced silk allowed the Byzantines to undercut the Chinese and Persians, making the empire fabulously wealthy. The Byzantines would dominate the silk market in Europe until their monopoly was broken by Italian traders in the 13th century.

Sexier Than Silk: The Irresistible Allure of the Nylon Slip

Kota Doria woven shawl from Rajasthan. Cotton and silk, handwoven on a loom.
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#kotadoria #silk #cotton #handwoven #rajasthan #indiatextiles #stonehouseartifacts (at StoneHouse Artifacts)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BrlLbUiHEkx/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=k3u865hs0vmq

lookingbackatfashionhistory:

• Evening Dress.

Date: 1910-1919

Medium: Silk velvet ribbon lace button.

Shawls in Rani, the name for pink in India.
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#pink #rani #shawls #india #cashmere #pashmina #silk (at StoneHouse Artifacts)
https://www.instagram.com/p/Boj5rPpHS37/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=8vnbc7c7yxxr

Silk and lotus shawl. We chose this piece while it was still on the loom during our recent visit to Inle Lake, Myanmar. It was washed and delivered by canoe the next day. Such a lovely sheen it has.
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#silk #lotusshawl #inlelake #handspun #handwoven #textiles #unusuallybeautiful #stonehouseartifacts (at StoneHouse Artifacts)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BmCOGEpl3yn/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=4bitiqmbuu39

Chand Bagh from the Punjab, JH Terry Collection
#stonehouseartifacts #chandbagh #silk #embroidery #antiquetextiles #jhterry

White silk shawls, black silk shawls. Cotton and cashmere.
#stonehouseartifacts #shawls #silk #cashmere #cotton #textiles #intheshop #bellinghamwa (at StoneHouse Artifacts)

Shawls, pashminas, kanis, etc…
#stonehouseartifacts #shawls #textiles #scarves #stolls #kani #pashmina #silk #cashmere #turquoise #blue (at StoneHouse Artifacts)