The legend of silk

According to a Chinese legend, which appears in Confucius' writings, silk was discovered in 2640 B.C.E by Xi Lingshi, the young wife of the third Emperor of China, who was known by the name of "HuangDi".

It is said the Xi Lingshi was drinking tea under a mulberry tree in the garden of the imperial palace when a cocoon fell from the tree into the hot tea. Wanting to remove it from her drink, the young girl began to unroll the thread from the cocoon, and she and her servants were very surprised to see the long, delicate thread that unrolled from the cocoon.

Xi Lingshi was amazed at how beautiful and strong the thread was and she had thousands of cocoons harvested and then woven to produce a robe that she gave to the Emperor.

Having patiently observed the life of the mulberry caterpillar, as recommended by her husband the Emperor, she began to teach her servants the art of looking after them, sericulture.

Since then, the young girl has become known in Chinese mythology as the "Goddess of Silk".