Exotic, foreign, quality, luxury. One of the strongest fibers known to man, silk has been used as a commodity as well as a fabric for over a thousand years. Emerging originally from the East, it was a radical change from homespun, wool based fibers found throughout most of Europe. It was rare, meaning that possession of it indicated a level of status. It came from “over yonder”, and there’s always something appealing about products that you can’t find locally. Because the thread is so fine, it produced a very tight weave, and required skilled tailors and seamstresses to work it properly. It was the ultimate luxury good, with the added advantage of being lightweight, strong, and warm.
It’s a product that changed the world. Demand was so strong that it spawned one of the early major trading routes, the Silk Road. A network of interconnecting trading routes, the Silk Road linked the Far East, India, Persia, Arabia and Europe together.