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Traditional kimono making, Okinawa. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Great Big Story.

The Kimono World’s Dirty Little Secret (Video)

Amidst the tranquil landscapes of Amami Ōshima, an island near Okinawa , Japan, an ancient tradition thrives—one that transforms mud and aged tree trunks into exquisite kimonos, each bearing the mark...
Japanese kimono. Source: Take7 / Adobe Stock.

Why 5 of The World's Priciest Fabrics Are So Expensive (Video)

Fabrics and textiles have always been an integral part of human culture, with some even considered as a symbol of luxury and status. Among the priciest fabrics in the world is muga silk, which is...
The stone carved chrysalis found at the Shangguo Site in Wenxi County in the city of Yuncheng, north China's Shanxi Province. Source: Provincial archaeology institute of Shanxi/Handout via Xinhua

5,200-Year-Old Carved Stone Chrysalis Unearthed from the Dawn of The Silk Road

Sericulture, or the rearing of silkworms to produce raw silk, was perfected by ancient China as early as the Yangshao period (5000-3000 BC), a thriving Neolithic culture. The marvels of silk and the...
Byssus, Secrets of a Shining Sea Silk Loved by Ancient Cultures

Byssus, Secrets of a Shining Sea Silk Loved by Ancient Cultures

Byssus is an extremely fine, rare, and valuable fabric of animal origin. It is a sort of natural silk with golden and sparkling reflections that is obtained from the filaments secreted by a large...
A detail from a silk samite shirt made by the nomadic Sogdian people of central Asia.

Ancient Silk Shirt from a Fallen Empire is Set to Fetch a Bundle at Auction

An exceptional silk shirt made by a skilled Sogdian craftsman is going up for auction at the end of April. The honey-golden color of the silk is decorated with ducks wearing flowing scarves while...
A 14th century depiction of a camel caravan on the Silk Road.

Treacherous Trading: Dangers of the Silk Road

The Silk Road is arguably the most famous long-distance trade route in the ancient world. This trade route connected Europe in the West with China in the East, and allowed the exchange of goods,...
A cape made from Madagascar Golden Orb spider silk exhibited at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

World’s Rarest Textile is Made From the Silk of One Million Spiders

In 2009, what is believed to be the world’s largest and rarest piece of cloth made entirely from the silk of the golden silk orb-weaver was exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New...
Sea Silk

One Person Left on Earth Knows the Ancient Secret of Producing Sea Silk

Sea silk is a highly-precious fabric that is so rare only one woman left on earth knows the secret to its creation. Whilst silk is famously known to be obtained from the cocoons of the mulberry...
Painting depicting the Battle of Cheoin (Korea) between Goryeo and Mongol Empire forces in the Korean peninsula in 1232; Deriv.

How Did They Do It? Masters of the Steppe: The Gear and Guts of the Mongol Military—Part I

Much is known about the ancient Mongol military and their incredible victories on the battlefield, but little is ever discussed about their arms, armor, horses, and logistics. What gear did they use...
8,500-year-old Evidence of Silk Production Weaves a New History of the Luxurious Fabric

8,500-year-old Evidence of Silk Production Weaves a New History of the Luxurious Fabric

Researchers have isolated degraded silk proteins in the soil of Chinese tombs that date back about 8,500 years—the oldest evidence of manmade silk by far. They found the tiny molecular proteins at...
A finely wrought Carolingian vessel, still encrusted with pieces of textile

Treasures Found Within Very Valuable Viking Hoard Finally Revealed

Around the time the Irish were stamping out the Viking presence in their country, local lore says the Scots and Vikings also fought a battle near Galloway, Scotland. In 2014, a metal detectorist took...
A painting depicting women inspecting silk, early 12th century, ink and color on silk, by Emperor Huizong of Song.

The Legend of Leizu and the Origins of Luxurious Chinese Silk

Leizu (嫘祖), known also as Lady Hsi Ling Shih (西陵氏) is a legendary figure in Chinese history credited with the discovery of silk and the invention of the silk loom. Silk is undoubtedly one of the most...
Prehistoric civilization along Silk Road

Prehistoric civilization found along Silk Road

Archaeologists have found artefacts that suggest ancient humans lived along the Silk Road long before it was created about 2,000 years ago and that trading between east and west began prior to the...