During the Ming Dynasty, great achievements were recorded in architecture, shipbuilding, porcelain making, and textile weaving.
Chinese products became known around the world for high quality and craftsmanship.
Admiral Zheng He took more than 10,000 copies of books to give away in the hope of spreading Chinese civilization and traditional Confucian ideas.
However, it was the silk and brocade that was most welcomed during the voyages of the great fleet.
Most of the Chinese silk that Zheng He took on his voyages came from southern China.
Of all the textile industries, silk weaving was number one and could be found in almost every large and small town in the south.
Shang Chuan, a Research Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences says, “Textiles in China have a long history. By the Ming Dynasty… large workshops had appeared, although work was still done by hand.
“However, compared with the old family production model, large worships were superior as the products were quality guaranteed, all looked the same and were the same standard.”
The silk industry was the beginning of modern manufacturing. In fact, silk weaving had matured two thousand years before the Ming Dynasty during the Warring States Period and was widely traded with the known world during the Han Dynasty
It has been discovered that eighty years before British discovered what caused scurvy — a lack of vitamin C — Chinese sailors were not suffering from scurvy because the Chinese had developed porcelain containers to grow bean sprouts in while at sea. Bean sprouts are a rich source of vitamin C.
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