Chorus of Life: A look at China’s ancient silk crafts
By Xu Mengqi

If there is one kind of fabric that stands to represent Chinese culture, it's silk.

China is considered the earliest country in the world to master silk production techniques and was known as "seres", or the nation of silk, in the ancient times of the Greeks and Romans. 

The delicate and lustrous nature of silk made it a highly-prized status symbol not only in China, but also in countries along the ancient Silk Road.

While silk production in China today is largely mechanized, in the ancient town of Tangqi, just outside the city of Hangzhou -- one of the cradles of silk culture in China -- the tradition of raising silkworms, reeling silk threads, and making silk floss quilt is still alive and well. A local government initiative has helped preserve the old, manual techniques of silk production.