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Dongwu Silk Factory and Store

Updated on March 2, 2007

Silk Threading Machine

Stretching Double Cocoons

Inspecting Before Sealing

Visiting the Silk Factory and Store

While in Shanghai, we went to a silk factory after we had seen the tai chi outfits worn by those who taught us tai chi. Many in our group were interested in buying silk outfits. When we first arrived at the factory, we met a guide who gave us a tour of part of the factory. In the first room, we got to see silkworms and touch them. We also learned that when the worms build their cocoons, where silk comes from, they sometimes become intertwined with another cocoon, creating a double cocoon. Double cocoons are impossible to turn into string because they are so tangled. The cocoons do not go to waste, though.

The second room was a machine that takes the single cocoons and makes it into thread on a spool. The spools are then used to make silk clothes and pictures. Some of the spools go through a dyeing process to turn them into different colors.

The last room was the shop and demonstration on how the double cocoons are used. The double cocoons are wetted and then stretched over a hoop. About ten double cocoons are stretched over one hoop before the pile is removed. The pile is then stretched out to make a filling for a blanket. We even got to take part in this process.

In the shop, you could buy the blankets for any bed size you have. You could also buy the silk coverings. The blankets are good for any weather. They do not make you too hot, but keep you warm when it is cold. I enjoyed the ones used at the hotel. Also, in the gift shop, you can buy clothing. They have outfits for children, men, and women. The part of the shop I enjoyed most was the gallery of silk pictures. I even bought a little circle one that had three fish. If I remember correctly, the fish stood for status, fortune, and luck.

To tell the truth, I had no clue as to what made silk. I enjoyed learning about the process of making silk items by actually watching the process. Getting to participate in making the stuffing for a blanket made the whole experience even better.

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      Brian 8 years ago

      I also went to this store a few years ago. Loved it. You wouldn't perchance have the URL of their online store would you? I remember it being something really out of the ordinary that you would have a hard time just finding--which seems to be why I can't find it for the life of me right now.

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      Marie 7 years ago

      We just returned from a trip to the Silk Factory and absolutely loved it. We decided to buy a King-sized silk blanket and duvet cover. Unfortunately, we got home and realized that their advertised King-size was the dimensions of the mattress itself, and not long enough for a comforter! Be careful in your shopping!

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      Vancouver, BC 6 years ago

      We just arrived on from China and also went to the Silk Factory. We bought what we were told was 2 king pillows and a fitted sheet, very expensive..... when we got home the pillows (which were vacuumed packed) turned out to be regular size and the king fitted sheet turned out to be a Queen flat sheet. BEWARE!!

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      Josef, Prague, Czech Republic 5 years ago

      I went also to that store. I had a private guide in Shanghai and she was very nice. So I did not want to make troubles. However, when I realized the prices I paid (they were on the tag) for two silk (I hope) scarfs, I felt like an idiot. 750 juan for two scarfs! One of them is at least of a good quality, the other one is nothing special.

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