Chinese knew silk fiber procedure from more than 5,000 years ago. There has been an interesting story about how Chinese found silk fiber production procedure; which says: Once, Queen of China mistakenly put a wild cocoon into hot water, prepared for washing hands. The next day, she found how to produce fibers from cocoon. The operation was fun to her and she started keeping and breeding silkworms to produce fibers for clothing. Gradually, silk fabrics became the queen of fabrics because of their unique brightness, beauty and their unique features; they...
they were exclusively used among the aristocrats and nobles. Its production exclusively belonged to Chinese for more than 2,000 years and this lucrative trade brought high benefits to its producers and vendors to the point that the trade road between the ancient states of West China to the Middle East and Europe has been known as the Silk Road. The Chinese were able to keep the secret of silk production for more than 2500 years and the Japanese were among the first who managed to discover the secret in the third century.
After about 550 A.D., Justinian (King of Byzantium) sent two monks as spies to China and they learn techniques for breeding, production and transfer of eggs, brought the secret of this industry to Europe. After that, the art of silk production gradually became generally known all over the world.
Throughout history, many countries such as France, Italy, Japan and others have been considered as the centers of silk production and currently more than 20 countries in the world including Iran are active in production of natural silk. It is to be noted that China, India, Thailand and some of the Central Asian countries are among the major natural silk and cocoon producers and suppliers.
History of producing fabrics and clothing in Iran goes back to pre-Islamic era. Sassanid era was the development age of silk production in Iran and it reached its peak in the Safavid era.