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L’industrie de la soie au XIXe s.

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  • L’industrie de la soie au XIXe s.

When we think of the ancient ties between Asia and Europe, we often think of the Silk Road. In France this natural fiber, secreted by caterpillars, was extremely popular when it arrived from Asia through Italy. In the picture, we see a weaving workshop in Lyon during the 19th century, established after King François 1er grantedLyon special rights granted before to Tours, in order to fight against the Italian competition. The Croix-Rousse district which is situated in Lyon, concentrates the most weavers, called canuts.Most of the workers live and sleep in their workplace. In fact, the Croix-Rousse was nicknamed “the hill that works”, in opposition to “the hill that prays”, Fourviere, with its sanctuary dedicated to Notre-Dame and basilica built in the 1870s.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, the King of Nanalso decided to rebuild the temples of his kingdom, including Wat Phumin. On the walls of the temple are murals, some of which illustrate the daily life of the Thai Lü, a population originally from Yunnan, China. The women who weave silk wear a “sarong” with original wave patterns. The explanations of the painting are in the local language of Nan. The discovery of silk fibers on the archeological site of Ban Chiang (2500 B.C) in the province of Udon Thani has proved that silk weaving is very ancient in the area. After a long drawn loss of importance, the renaissance of silk was initiated by Jim Thompson in the 20th century.

Chatbhuri CHALERMNON, Tle A