China National Silk Museum, Hangzhou

Written by Ruru Zhou Updated Aug. 31, 2021

CNSM (China National Silk Museum) is located nearby the West Lake in Hangzhou, regarded as one of the first state-level museums in China.As it covers an area of 50,000 square meters and a building area of 8,000 square meters, it is the largest silk museum in the world. It was opened on February 26th, 1992.

Main Attractions in the Museum

Preface lobby

The Preface Lobby leads visitors to go into the theme of the museum, highlighting the features of the museum and the theme of silk. The abstract model of silkworm cocoon, the huge crewel embroidery, and latitude and longitude lines symbolizing plain-woven wood grill briefly give the audience a basic understanding of the production of silk and the overall development of Chinese and Western silk history.

Silk Hall

The display of the relics is divided into three parts, which are Preface, the Origin and Development of Silk, and the Gorgeous Chinese Silk. The diverse kinds of silk and magnificent Silk embroidery display a 5000-year long Chinese silk history.

There is an observation place and embroidery house that present you a vivid scene of traditional silk production. The hall collects damask, gauze, silk fabric, satin, and brocade from each dynasty. A large model of silk is shown to visitors that directly explain the difference of all silk.

The corridor of Silk Road

By displacing the large ancient Silk Road Map and treasures unearthed from the Han and Tang dynasty, reproduce the famous prairie land Silk Road, the four Maritime Silk Road and the new route opened, as well as the effect of these roads brought to Chinese and western culture.. In addition, the museum has produced a DVD video to elaborate on the history and development of the Silk Road.

Costume Hall

The display includes three parts which are silk clothing in fiesta, glorious embroidery, and daily use embroidery. Silk clothing and ancient miniature character models interpreted the functions of silk in ancient society. It shows popular jacket dress robes, make clothes, robes, and another court daily homemade costumes and embroidery in Warring States Period to the Qing Dynasty.

Dyeing Hall

The Dyeing Hall focuses on the display of the formation of silk and dyeing techniques. The audience will actively learn the ancient production process of dyeing silk. A learning garden has been set up that enables visitors to make silk craftwork by themselves, enjoy the process of producing personal craftworks. Meanwhile, a ZIS Weaving Computer System was set to teach the audience to design textile patterns under the guidance of professional staff.

China National Silk Museum is a museum equipped with modern devices and is dedicated to offering convenience for visitors. It is free for all visitors all year round and visitors will be interpreted in both English and Chinese during the visit. Also, the exhibit is well laid out and nicely presented - in both Chinese and English. It is a great way to learn about the history and culture associated with one of China's most famous products.

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