Why is silk worth so much today and why has it remained the most expensive material for the production of clothing and rugs for thousands of years? That is a great question and I will attempt to answer it for you. Most things that we buy are priced by the amount of time that it takes to produce them and the cost of the materials they are made of. It isn't any different with silk.
It is no wonder that items made from silk are highly sought after today as collectibles and, as a member of Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectible Club, you should be keenly aware of this because it can make you a great amount of money.
Before I share the history of silk with you I want you to hear this little story of a woman who had just started her search for treasures. Since she knew clothing, she decided that this might be her best bet to making money. Attending a house sale and rummaging through some clothing in the master bedroom she came upon a silk dress. At first she was shocked at the price, but should she have been? It was less than $200. Having some knowledge, she recognized that it was a silk designer dress and just had to take it home. Not really knowing what she had, the best thing to do was make some calls which she did. It ended up being made by a very famous designer and sold for over $3000 which I am sure was a bargain because it sold on eBay. At a celebrity clothing auction it is feasible that it could have brought in the tens of thousands. Even though she did well, it might have been in her best interest to do a little more research.
I hope that you will check eBay for completed sales where you will find garments and rugs selling from $1000 to $500,000. While others are seeking to find that special painting or piece of glass the dealers who are knowledgeable on silk are quietly making a killing on silk items because there are so few dealers that recognize the most expensive pieces.
But now the reason why silk is so expensive. The story was that silk making started about 3000 years ago when a lady by the name of Hsi-Ling started raising silkworms and also created a loom. The Chinese were able to keep the secret of silk making to themselves for almost 2000 years but then other cultures developed their own methods of producing silk. Not until recently was it discovered that silk had been produced for 5000 to 6000 years. The Chinese chose a variety of silkworm that was blind and flightless to use and they fed them mulberry leaves. Once the worm gets large enough it spins itself into a cocoon. This takes 8 to 9 days. The worm is then killed in the cocoon by baking it and the cocoon is then unwound. One cocoon will produce 600 to 900 meters of silk which is wound onto a spool.
Here is a little secret for you. All silk was produced for the emperor and his friends and when producing a garment that included a dragon, only the ones with 5 toes went to the royalty. If anyone else who was not royalty was discovered with a garment having a dragon with 5 toes, they were put to death. It was all right, however, if the dragon had 3 toes. I have read this several places and hope that it isn't just an old wife's tale.
Take the time necessary to check garments and rugs to see if they are silk and if they are, give them special attention
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