Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory

You may have heard the Silk Road originating in ancient China, but you probably don't know the process of silk manufacturing. A visit to the Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory at Nanmen Road, Suzhou City can lead you to the answer.

Initiated from 1926, the Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory of 300 workers is dedicated to produce quality silk items, including beddings, duvets, clothing, and some other artifacts. Now, this factory is also open to tourists, both showing the silk manufacturing process, and selling silk items directly.

The factory opens up a conference room that demonstrates all the various life-cycle stages of the silkworm and the silk manufacturing process from the silkworm to the silk items. It is definitely instructive and fun.

Silk moths lay eggs and later grow into caterpillars (silkworms) after the feeding of fresh mulberry leaves. After some 35 days, the silkworms begin spinning cocoons. A single cocoon can produce a continuous silk filament measuring approximately 1000 m!

The cocoons are totally encased by filaments within 2~3 days. The silk farmers then kill most cocoons with boiling water or heat. After soaking the harvested cocoons, the workers can easily unravel the silk thread. Since a single thread is too fragile and thin for practical use, seven to ten threads are spun together to form a single strand of silk. After procedures of dying and weaving, various types of silk items are finally created. Isn't it interesting?

Moreover, the factory showroom displays many beautiful well-designed products of the factory, such as scarves, beddings, quilts, dresses and other silk artifacts. Most of them are for sale with prices varying from very cheap to super expensive.