Silk is the soft, lustrous fiber obtained as a filament from the cocoon of the silkworm. Silk is strong, flexible, and fibrous, and is essentially a long continuous strand of protein. It is widely used to make thread and fabric. According to Confucius, it was in 2640 B.C. that the Chinese princess Xi Ling Shi was the first to reel a cocoon of silk which, legend also has it, had dropped into her cup of tea. From that historic moment, the Chinese
discovered the life cycle of the silk worm and for the next 3000 years were to keep their monopoly of silk.
Most of the silk is woven into rebozos (shawls) with one or more members of the family involved in the spinning, weaving, and dyeing processes. Electric spinners and floor looms have been introduced later to enhance the spinning and weaving process, but many people, particularly the older women, still prefer to spin by hand using a malacate and weave using a back strap loom.
Besides its luxurious softness and lustrous beauty, there are various other benefits of silk that other fabrics, whether natural or man-made, simply cannot match. These advantages of silk have rightly earned silk its reputation as the queen of fabrics. Silk is warm and cozy in winter and comfortably cool when temperatures rise. Its natural temperature-regulating properties give silk this paradoxical ability to cool and warm simultaneously.