Silk is traditionally one of Suzhou’s most famous exports, with a history of silk manufacture over 1000 years old. This museum includes information on the history and process of silk making, from growing silk worms all the way through to producing beautiful final products.
Of particular interest to me was the silk weaving workshop, where they demonstrated the main steps in silk making. First, silk worms are fed mulberry leaves, then the cocoons are collected and thoroughly washed. Finally, the silk strands are spun into thread or matted and stretched to form sheets.
The silk produced from these processes is then dyed and used to make everything from bedding to beautiful traditional Chinese dresses. These are available for sale in the huge store at the end of the museum at relatively reasonable prices. Although I personally decided not to purchase anything, if you are in the market for some high quality silk clothes or bedding this seems a good place to go to ensure genuine silk, high quality and a fair price.