In the Suzhou Silk Museum there are exhibitions of silk products in ancient and modem times, ancient designs of silk products and development of silk production in ancient and modern China. The great variety of silk products, belonging to different periods in Chinese history, will impress the visitors deeply.
There has been a history of 6,000 years for Silk production in China. As early as the fifth century B.C., silk was exported to Other Asian countries, Europe and Africa along the Old Silk Road, making an outstanding contribution to world civilization. Suzhou has been a silk producer for centuries, and China's first silk museum was built in this ancient city.
Suzhou Silk Museum has attracted numerous visitors from home and abroad since its founding in 1991. The chairman of the International Silk Association wrote in the visitor's book, "This is the first time I have visited such a unique museum. The ancient looms that we, in Europe, can normally see only in textbooks are still operating here. This is far beyond my expectations. I will tell all my friends about the silk museum and hope they will pay a visit soon.
Various exhibition halls in Suzhou Silk Museum reflect the origin, evolution and development of silk production, from primitive times to the Shang, Zhou, Han, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties right through to present day. Among the exhibits are 80 traditional silk looms, 320 fragments of silk from various dynasties, 30 bolts of ancient silk, 350 ancient garments, and a large number of samples of modern silk products.
Among these exhibition halls there also contain a silkworm breeding and rearing room, and a silk weaving workshop. The silkworm rearing room simulates a farmhouse in southern China, in which thousands of silkworms eat mulberry leaves. Through the windows can be seen a grove of mulberry trees, the whole tableau thereby indicating the origins of China's sericulture.
There is also a "Ming and Qing Street" in the museum, lined with replicas of time-honored silk shops in Suzhou, showing the important position of silk in the local economy.