Store Front Account Basket Contents   Checkout
Homepage | About Us | Shipping | Reference | Mailing List | Help
Search for:
Sign In

Feng Shui
Gifts & Decor
Jewelry
Netsuke & Inro
Shop By Creature
Snuff Bottles
Tableware
Tea Shop
The Clearance Items

Though the word doesn’t sound as romantic as the meaning, sericulture refers to production of silk. The history of silk has it roots decades back. However, silk was an unknown thing for the West for long. The Natural History by Pliny in 70 BC reads, " silk was obtained by removing down from the leaves with the help of water…" – a very clear evidence of ignorance about silk. 

Perhaps the secret of silk is the safest guarded one in history.

As the Chinese legend goes, Lady Hsi-Ling-Shih , the wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor initiated silkworm rearing. She also invented the loom. Considering the reign of Yellow Emperor, China can proudly boast of silk rearing from 3000BC. However, the archeological finds trace the origin of sericulture even much earlier. Click here to read more.


The description of this trade route to the west as the `Silk Road' is misleading. In fact, no single route or road was taken. In crossing Central Asia, several different branches developed, passing through different oasis settlements. The name `Silk Road' is relatively new in historic terms, and was actually coined by a nineteenth century German scholar named von Richthofen

It is often thought that the Romans had first come in contact with silk on one of their campaigns against the Parthians in 53 B.C. It is said that the Romans learned from Parthian prisoners that silk came from a mysterious tribe in the east, who they referred to as the silk people, or `Seres.'  Caravans heading towards China carried gold and other metals, ivory, precious stones, and glass to trade. In the opposite direction, besides silk, furs, ceramics, jade, bronze objects, lacquer, and iron were carried.  The most significant commodity carried along this route though, was not silk, but religion. Buddhism came to China from India, along the northern branch of the route and Christianity also made an early appearance on the scene. Click here to read more.


Silk scarves have been used for a variety of purposes throughout history.  Its lightweight warmth caused silk to become one of the most popular materials for things like aviator's scarves and for parachutes.  However, the high cost of silk throughout history has meant that silk scarves were often considered a luxury item in Europe and North America.  It has only been in the last 20 years that silk scarves have become more widely available.  Thai silk scarves are among the most elegant and beautiful scarves, and have been thrilling the fashion world for several years now. 

The production of silk stretches back centuries in Thailand.  Because Thailand is the only Southeast Asian nation to have never been ruled by a European power, silk production is much more traditional.  Additionally, Thai silk is considered exceptionally durable and high quality.  This quality silk is washed, and then dyed carefully to produce stunning and memorable colors.  One of the most remarkable features of Thai silk scarves is their patterns and artwork, many of which stem from Thai folklore and culture. Click here to read more.


Suzhou or "Su" embroidery is one of the oldest embroidery techniques in the world, with origins stretching back more than 2,000 years.  Suzhou embroidery was one of the first embroidery styles to be developed in China, but its detailed needlework and intricate images are still produced today.  It is a style characterized by brightly colored silk embroidered with well-proportioned and uncluttered representations of almost any pastoral scene, person, animal, or object.  Examples of Suzhou embroidery were so detailed and intricate that many people used the pieces as artwork, and some of the oldest pieces still in existence date back hundreds of years. Click here to read more.

Shu embroidery is a relatively recent (by Chinese standards) Chinese embroidery style, having been developed around the middle of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).  One of the four great Chinese embroidery styles, Shu embroidery was developed in and around the city of Shengdu in Sichuan province.  Although what we now think of as the Shu style matured in the Qing dynasty the Sichuan area has a history of producing embroidery that dates back several hundred years, and  Shu embroidery is considered to be one of the end products of the evolution of this long history.  With many natural subjects depicted in colorful threads, Shu embroidery is mostly concerned with showing the joys of life, and has been used in many different pieces, both practical and decorative. 

Examples of embroidery have been discovered in the Sichuan province dating from more than 2,000 years ago.  Fish have been among the most popular subjects for embroiderers from Sichuan; one account from the Western Han dynasty (202 B.C. – 9 A.D.) tells of the intricate detailing of a carp taking more than a month for an embroiderer to complete.  The production of embroidery was first done by males, but over the years it has passed to young women.  The Shu embroidery which matured during the Qing dynasty, which is also called Chuan embroidery, is still produced in China today and has been widely exported to countries all over the world. Click here to read more.


Xiang embroidery is considered one of the four great embroidery styles of China, and has been practiced in that country for hundreds of years.  The Xiang embroidery style originated in the Hunan province of China, where examples of embroidery have been found which date back more than 2,300 years.  Embroidery in the Hunan province has developed extensively in the intervening centuries, and Xiang embroidery is a recent product of this development, and borrows influences from other Chinese embroidery styles.  While other styles strive for perfection in their craftsmanship, Xiang embroidery is far more akin to folk art with its loose threads and rich colors.  Xiang embroidery is still produced today, and is popular throughout China and around the world. Click here to read more.

Yue embroidery is the oldest of the four most famous Chinese embroidery styles.  Yue embroidery is sometimes called Cantonese embroidery because of its origins in the Guangdong province (the heart of Canton China).  Dating back several centuries, the designs produced with this style are complicated and have a variety of stylistic accents to draw attention to the central subject.  It is also a style marked by smooth embroidery, with very little of the three dimensional texturing found in other styles.  With bright colors and a variety of different threads used, Yue embroidery is perhaps the most eclectic of the four major Chinese embroidery styles, and it is still produced and widely available today. Click here to read more.

We offer the Internet's largest selection of Asian Arts, Crafts, and Collectibles with over 4,000 different items in stock in our Maryland warehouse. Our products are handcrafted and imported from Japan, China, Korea, Bali, India, Vietnam, Russia, Ceylon, Nepal, and Thailand. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your visit.


 

 
Sushi & Sake Set for Two
Sushi & Sake Sets
White Rabbits / Brown Rabbits
Chinese Snuff Bottles
Netsuke, Inro, Ojime
Gold Leaf Painted ~ 10 Inch Turnip Vase
Gold Leaf Lacquer
Pair of 10 Inch Closionne Vases
Cloisonne
 
 

About Us | Contact Info | Email Us | Homepage | Main Mall Page | Help