GOVERNMENT OF TAMILNADU
DEPARTMENT OF SERICULTURE

History of Sericulture

 

          Once upon a time in an ancient kingdom of China there lived Queen Xi-Ling, wife of Emperor Huang-Di. She was interested in the arts and looming. One day as she sat under her favorite mulberry tree in the garden sipping tea and admiring the beautiful spring flowers, something fell into her tea cup. She jumped up horrified and spilled the tea all over her lovely dress.  Her ladies-in-waiting rushed to wipe off the stains but lady Xi-Ling stopped them. On top of the tea stain on her dress she spotted a lovely web of the most exquisite threads she had ever seen before. She carefully picked up the delicate threads. They felt soft and smooth to the touch. She understood that is the Silk threads come from the Silkworm’s Cocoon where it fell from Mulberry tree. She sat on her loom and started working out a complicated pattern. It was the most exquisite piece she had ever woven. This discovery of Silk was celebrated with great feasting and rejoicing throughout the land. Later when commercial relations were established between China, and the rest of the world. Knowledge of Silk spread far and wide.

            Silkworm eggs and the technology of making silk, was brought to India by Buddhist monks from China. Also, the Industry is said to have spread to Tibet when a Chinese Princess, carrying Silkworm eggs and Mulberry seed in her hair dress, married the king of Kotan in Tibet.

            About two and half centuries ago silk was introduced into Karnataka by Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the State. Today it is the biggest silk producing centre in India. Sericulture introduced in TamilNadu from the border area of Karnataka during early 1960. Now TamilNadu Stands number one in Bivoltine Silk production in India.