Between 2600 to 2300 B.C. Chinese empress Lei-Tzu (Hsi- Ling- Shih) wife of the emperor Huang- Li, was the first to reel a cocoon of silk which, legend says that a cocoon which attached into the mulberry tree in the garden had dropped into her cup of tea. She was fascinated to discover a fine thread being unravel from the cocoon. From that historic moment, the Chinese discovered the life cycle of the silk worm and for the next 3000 years they keep it secret to themselves for the monopoly of silk.
When silk was first discovered, it was reserved exclusively for the use of the ruler. It was permitted only to the emperor, his close relations and the very highest of his dignitaries. Within the palace, the emperor is believed to have worn a robe of white silk; outside, he, his principal wife, and the heir to the throne wore yellow, the color of the earth.
Gradually the various classes of society began wearing dresses of silk, and silk came into more general use. As well as being used for clothing and decoration, silk was quite quickly put to industrial use by the Chinese. This was something which happened in the West only in modern times. Silk, indeed, rapidly became one of the principal elements of the Chinese economy.
In spite of their secrecy, however, the Chinese were destined to lose their monopoly on silk production. Sericulture reached Korea around 200 BC, then Silk reached the West through a number of different channels. During the Roman Empire, silk was sold for its weight in gold. For centuries silk has had a reputation as a luxurious fabric, one associated with wealth and success. Shortly after the year 300, sericulture traveled westward and the cultivation of the silkworm was established in India.
Attached see the silk road!