Sunday, July 25, 2010

Silk Museum

For part 3 of the Great Wall tour day, we stopped by the Silk Museum on our way home from the Great Wall. It is located downtown near the Olympic Village area. I am not sure if this is legitimately a famous Silk Museum or just another classic tourist attraction scam to get us to purchase silk goods at outrageous prices.

On the way over there, we passed a building that looked like some kind of computer chip (according to our tour guide). I wasn't quite quick enough to catch it from the bus window, so here is the best shot that I got.

This building looks kind of like a large sand castle, I have no idea what it is since I was too tired to pay attention to our guide by this point.

Here is the entrance up the stairs to the Silk Musem. Of course it is painted red, so many things in China are painted red because of the color's positive connotation here.

This picture shows a glimpse of the old Silk Road, used to bring silk and other goods from China to Europe and the West.

Then they had some exhibits of things that were made out of silk, like this.

And of course they had the traditional silk robes, embroidered with more colors to be fancy. I think robes like these were reserved for ceremonial purposes only.

This is one of the many signs in the museum that translated the display description into English. My LCC teacher would have freaked out about the spacing of the words and the ridiculous breaks in the middle of a word (like how half of "revert" is on the next line").

Speaking of funny signs, there was a bump randomly in the walkway between gallery rooms and this caution sign was posted up near it.

They also had exhibits of how to weave silk from the actual silkworm cocoons. You have to soak the silk cocoon in water to soften it up, then somehow untangle it using those cylinder machines.

The next step would be to weave the silk thread on a loom, using some kind of shuttle or rapier. My PTFE (polymer, textile and fiber engineering) professor would be so excited for this exhibit because that is pretty much all we talked about in my Yarn and Fabric Formation class. Well, that and we would do more engineering-like thigns such as calculate the number of spinning machines and looms needed to produce X pounds or yards of fabric in Y number of hours, etc.

They also let us stretch out the silk fabric to show how they make filling for comforters and blankets.

The end of the Silk Musem was pretty much like a Silk department store that sold everything from silk shirts to ties to undergarments and shoes. I was wayyy too tired by then to take any more photos, so this is the end of the 3-part post from the Great Wall trip! Now I can start catching up to our more recent adventures :)


Post a Comment