The Chinese are believed to have discovered silk threads and learned how to weave them into strong and beautiful cloth before the middle of the third century BCE. For hundreds of years, the methods used in creating the material remained a secret; even after silk was exported to other countries, had a monopoly on its production.
Roberts, Jeremy. "Silk in China." Chinese Mythology A to Z. Facts On File, 2004. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Retrieved from http://db.corpus.wa.edu.au/login?url=http://online.infobase.com.db.corpus.wa.edu.au/Auth/Index?aid=102119&itemid=WE49&articleId=235460