Silk Bedding Direct are well known for producing the very best quality silk mattress toppers, silk duvets and silk pillows available today.  Click on your bed size below to find out more, we promise you will not be disappointed....
 

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THE HISTORY OF THE SILK ROAD

It is thought that silk as a fabric that can be woven was discovered in China in about 3000BC and for many centuries was a luxury item to be enjoyed only by Chinese royalty and high officials. As China is surrounded by high mountain ranges and some of the most impenetrable countryside in the world, there was no trade with the outside world until centuries later.

Bundles of silk yarn ready for trading Initially silk was traded only within the empire, but during the Han Dynasty in the 2nd century BC the Chinese began to realise that they had an extremely valuable commodity in silk and started to open their Western borders. At first the caravans were attacked by small Asian tribes but General Zhang Qian was sent by the Chinese government to make peace. The General founded good relations with many tribes along the ancient trade routes and so the export of silk spread farther West, thus starting the Silk Road from Xian in the East reaching as far as the Mediterranean in the West, linking China with the Roman Empire. Asian and European traders brought furs, cattle and horses, ivory and jade to trade in China, but the route was called the Silk Road because Westerners considered silk to be more precious than gold.

These Western traders did not only bring goods for trading, but also the cultures of India, Arabia, Greece and Rome. They also brought skills which were unknown in China, like using grapes to make wine. Information about the processes involved in the creation of silk was still a closely guarded secret, however, betrayed to other nations on pain of death.

During the Tang dynasty (618-907AD) the Silk Road enjoyed its most prosperous time, until the Anshi rebellion in 760AD, when the Chinese lost control of its Western borders and trade became difficult.

It was during this period, after nearly a thousand years of trading along the Silk Road, that the secrets of silk production were betrayed to the West by two Byzantine monks, who smuggled silkworm eggs out of China inside a hollow bamboo cane. The secret was out, enabling other nations to produce silk if they so wished. However, even to this day, China continues to be the foremost exporter of silk in the world.

With some ups and downs in trade, silk continued to travel along the Silk Road until the end of the fourteenth century, when it became increasingly dangerous to travel overland and also, with improvements in navigation, more popular to travel by sea. The Silk Road had outlived its purpose, but continues to this day to spark romantic scenes of wealthy merchants mounted on their camels, striding through the sand.

It was not until 1877 that this great route was named The Silk Road by a geographer called Ferdinand von Richthofen.

You can now purchase luxury mulberry silk-filled bedding without need of the Silk Road. Find out more by clicking below.....

 

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"This duvet is real luxury. So thin and light and yet it drapes beautifully over you. This makes it easier to change the duvet cover as well. The hand stitching does a great job, warm and no cold air pockets when sleeping. This is my second purchase, bought the pillows last time."
Sam D.
Chicago, IL

"Lovely, comfortable duvet. Nice and light. Really perfect. I have slept much better since I have been using it. No more sweating or feeling too hot or too cold. Highly recommend it, and a nice company to deal with."
Grace L.
Seattle, WA

"Lovely material, and very well made. Does all that it claims to do to give comfortable sleep. A happy customer!"
Evelyne S.
Arlington, VA

"I've purchased the summer & spring/fall duvets and four pillows to go with them. It’s so cozy in bed now, really changed our nights. I highly recommend your silk-filled bedding, really pleased I found this great product. Fast shipping too."
Annette D.
Portland, ME

"I just want to let you know how pleased I am with my silk duvet, it's so so warm and comfortable yet so light, thank you."
Francine T.
Winnipeg, Canada


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