The Pioneers of Silk Fashion throughout History
Over 5,000 years, there have been many characters that have made an indelible mark on the history of this strong, lustrous fibre. Whether it’s how they wore it or their role in its production, they are now intricately woven into the extraordinary story of silk.
3000 BC – Lady Hsi Ling Shih, the ‘Goddess of Silk’ (Chinese Empire)
Lady Hsi Ling Shih, the wife of the Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, was sipping tea under a mulberry tree one day when a silkworm cocoon fell into her cup. As the cocoon started to unravel, the empress saw the stunning beauty of the shimmering threads.
She explored to see where the cocoon had come from and found the Bombyx mori silkworm living in the white mulberry trees of the palace garden. It’s said that from there, the empress went on to develop the process of sericulture – the cultivation of silkworms – before inventing both the reel and the loom. Although there’s no way of telling whether the legend of the mythical empress is true, the Goddess of Silk will forever have a place in the history of silk.