THE HISTORY OF THE SILK SPINNER
The country were silk originated is China, where the precious Bombyx mori has been living for the last 5000 years or so. The Chinese guarded the art of silk manufacturing for 3000 years like a state secret. It was prohibited and punishable by death to smuggle cocoons and eggs out of the country. Thus, for many centuries, silk fabrics could only be found in China. Around 200 BC, silkworm breeding reached Korea, Japan, India and Persia. Finally, in the 4th century, silk reachded Central Asia. In 552, it was first transported in caravans along the Silk Road to Constantinople, which for many centuries was the biggest and most important silk market. Around the 9th century, the secrets of silkworm breeding reached Sicily and Spain through the Arabs, and it was approximately in the year 1400 when extensive mulberry plantations were started in Lombardy. Silkworm breeding reached its climax in Italy in the 19th century. From Lombardy, the silk trade expanded via the St. Gotthard pass until it reached Lake Lucerne as well, where silk waste was processed for the first time in Gersau in 1730.