Silk Europe

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Silk Europe


Sericulture in China (mainland). China is the leading silk producing country in the world. Her production of cocoons and raw silk amounted to 78 thousand and 22 thousand metric tons in 1987-88 respectively. The silk industry is centered in the densely populated areas west and south of Shanghai, in parts of the Szechwan Basin in the delta region of the Si-kiange near Canton. The Shantung peninsula and few other districts of the north produce wild silk called Tussore silk from worms fed on oak leaves. In other districts mulberry trees are grown. In the lower Yangtze valley trees yield leaves for three broods of worms per annum but in the Si-kiange valley, due to even distribution of more rainfall and longer period of high temperatures the trees yield leaves so as to have seven to eight broods of worms. Methods of preparing silk and breeding of silk worms are inferior to those of Japan.

About 66% of the total production is reeled in modern filatures in cities situated in the lower portion of the valleys. In 1987-88 production of raw silk and wastes amounted to 22.5 thousand metric tons in China.

Sericulture in Southern Europe. In 1987-88 Europe produced only 1.3 thousand metric tons of raw silk and 12.4 thousand metric tons of cocoons fresh. The industry can be found in the southern France and northern Italy. At one time France and Italy supplied about 50% of world's commercial silk. The disease in 1853 almost destroyed sericulture in France. The industry was revived again by the application of scientific methods in the twentieth century. But still the industry suffers from high-priced labour and from the fact that only one crop of leaves is obtained in France.

The upper Po valley of Italy is important for sericulture, which has been sided by large labour supply and government help and application of science. In 1987-88, Italy produced 1 thousand metric tons of raw silk against world total of 56.5 thousand metric tons.

Sericulture in Korea. The relief, soil and climatic conditions favor the growth of mulberry trees and tending of silk worms in South Korea. Sericulture distributed throughout the country forms the subsidiary occupation of the farmers. There are three broods of worms. The Korean War affected the industry to a great extent. The production of raw silk in South Korea amounted to 5.6 thousand metric tonnes in 1984-85.

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