caramir (caramir) wrote in little_details,

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Silk weaving and forests

My story revolves primarily around two 'races' (I say 'races', although that might be a misnomer: both races are definitely 'human'; although their difference lies in their ways of looking at things). Anyway, to get on with it, for one of these races; I call them the witches; I've decided to make them live in forests. The closest example that I can think of is that of the Wood Elves in Tolkein's Legendarium.
 For some reason or the other, I'd really like to clothe the nobility in silk.
Therefore, my question is this: What is the exact, ancient (oldest) method of weaving silk? I'm asking because I want to know if my witches are technologically advanced enough to be able to do this (so far as this is concerned, they can't use magic). I gather that the Chinese were the first ones to do it, I'd like to know, thus, exactly what were the methods and tools they employed and the such.

My second question is this: As mulberry is essential to silk, what kind of a forest (what kind of trees, etc, etc) are liable to grow alongside mulberry? And what kind of physical features would that entail, the climate, etc.

  • Google. I used the search term, "Silk Weaving". I got either modern returns, or a history of silk weaving and the Silk Route. It didn't get into the actual practice and the technical details, so far as Ancient Times went. I did get something on how the Romans (mis) interpreted it, but that's about all.
  • Wikipedia. Pretty much the same thing, with slightly more structured information perhaps; but still of not much help, I'm afraid.
Tags: history (misc), ~agriculture, ~clothing, ~technology: pre-industrial

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