This Chinese tunic is made of red silk and has a gold cherry blossom pattern throughout. It has a mandarin collar and an interior label that reads "Laogudai, Made in China". It accompanies pants number E2014.1.648.
China was the first country to raise silkworms and transform their cocoons into clothing. It was a very profitable industry, as one caterpillar alone creates a single strand of silk two to three thousand feet long. Since the silk trade was so valuable in ancient China, its making was a national secret and anyone who tried to smuggle silkworms out of the country was punished by death. Silk was so prized that only members of the royal family were allowed to wear it at first. Nowadays, silk still remains the fabric of choice for classic Chinese clothes.
Discovery Kit: Newcomers (October 25 2019) Discovery Kits include a variety of artifacts and specimens from the Museum’s Collection that allow students to investigate global and local objects. The Collections support the Museum’s mission of inspiring curiosity and discovery around science, history, and culture. Each kit includes objects from the Museums archives, helpful resources and suggested activities. Discovery Kits are a great way for teachers to incorporate primary source and object-based learning into the classroom or as a way to prepare for or extend a Museum visit.