So I found this article on silk (click heading above to be taken to that page).
Here is the first couple of paragraphs...there is something I want to point out near the end of this segment.
"More than 4500 years ago, a Chinese empress discovered how to unravel silk cocoons when one dropped into her cup of tea. Until this time, fibre for cloth came from plants (cotton, linen, hemp, ramie) or animals (sheep, goats, camel and yak). No one knew of such a fine and shiny fibre as silk, and no one would have believed it came from the secretions of an insect.
As the Chinese and other nations began to travel around the world, they each sent ambassadors bearing gifts to other countries. Silk was the most treasured gift from China, and her intelligent emperors soon realised they had a very important trade commodity. To meet the great demand for silk, the emperors ordered their citizens to pay a portion of their taxes in silk cloth. And to help insure that they would remain an important trading power, the government imposed a law that anyone who revealed the secret of silk production would be put to death.
The mystery of how silk was produced was not revealed to the western world for over 3000 years. One tale is told of two Christian monks who were sent to China to discover the age-old secret of silk production. They returned to Constantinople two years later with silkworm eggs and mulberry tree seeds hidden in hollowed out canes. From here, silk production spread throughout Europe. "
Lemme get this straight. Two CHRISTIAN monks....STOLE silkworm eggs and mulberry seeds. Wow, way to practice what you teach!! Guess it started out on the wrong foot, aye? *smacks forhead*
Until next time...