History behind the Silk Road


  1. Trade Routes and Networks
  2. Goods and Commodities
  3. Silkinc’s Dunhuang Collection

Silk Road, an ancient trade route, that carried inspiration between the two great civilizations of Rome and China. Through this road, countries have transferred valuable local goods, techniques, innovation and culture with each other.

Trade Routes and Networks

The Silk Road, spanning approximately 4,000 miles (6,400 km), traces its origins from Xi'an (pronounced as Si-an). Initially, it follows a northwest trajectory alongside the Great Wall of China, circumventing the Takla Makan Desert, traversing the Pamir Mountains, and extending through Afghanistan before reaching the Levant. From there, merchandise was transported across the Mediterranean Sea.

Source: Britannica
Although the Age of Exploration gave rise to faster routes between the East and West that replaces the Silk Road, parts of it still survive in the form of a paved highway connecting Pakistan and the Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang in China.

There are three focal cities along the Silk Road:

Dunhuang, China

Dunhuang stands out as one of the prominent cities along the Chinese segment of the Silk Road. Nestled in northwest China, Dunhuang holds strategic importance by intersecting two vital trade routes within the Silk Road network. Despite undergoing multiple changes in ownership throughout its history, Dunhuang maintained its reputation as a thriving hub of commerce until the 11th century. Over time, whilst its significance as a trade centre gradually diminished, for Silkinc, its heritage, environment and ancient carvings, serve as inspiriration even today.


Source: Cary Y. Liu

Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Bukhara emerges as Central Asia's revered city, boasting a rich trading heritage spanning over 2,000 years. Situated at a crucial junction on the primary caravan routes crisscrossing Central Asia, Bukhara has served as a pivotal trading center. Here, merchants engaged in the exchange of goods and ideas, acquiring locally crafted carpets, garments, and leather products.


Source: Kosh Madras

Bursa, Turkey

With roots tracing back to ancient times, Bursa flourished with the rise of a more global silk industry during the Byzantine era, evolving into a prominent silk center. Positioned at the European terminus of the Silk Road, Bursa played a pivotal role in the distribution of goods globally.

Source: David Pettitt

Goods and Commodities

The Silk Road derives its name from its most prized commodity, silk, which played a central role in trade along the route. Originating from China where silk was discovered, it gained significant value in Rome and other European countries, symbolizing luxury and prestige. Alongside silk, the Silk Road facilitated the exchange of goods including precious stones, porcelain, tea, and spices from Asia, while horses, glassware, other textiles, and manufactured goods made their way back.

This ancient trade network not only connected goods between Asian and European countries but also facilitated cultural exchange and immersion. Beyond trade, the Silk Road fostered the growth of multicultural cities along its route. One such example is Dunhuang, strategically positioned as a pivotal center of trade. The legacy of Dunhuang caves flourished, enriched by the influences of Buddhism introduced to China from India via the Silk Road.

Moreover, the Silk Road served as a conduit for the exchange of information, leading to the dissemination of new technology and innovation that would ultimately reshape the world, such as the ability to produce silk, paper and medical ideas are shared and spread westward. Thus, the significance of the Silk Road extends far beyond commerce, leaving an indelible mark on history and civilization.

Silkinc’s Dunhuang Collection

Recognizing the cultural significance of the Silk Road and Dunhuang, Silkinc has designed the Dunhuang Collection. Drawing inspiration from the caves and cassion patterns found in the Mogao Caves, we infuse modern flair to rejuvenate Dunhuang's timeless essence. Our collection features pieces like the Blue Lotus Long Sleeve Pajama Sets, Classic Striped Pajama Sets, and the Silk Road Super-Light Jacket, each crafted to honor the rich heritage of the Silk Road and Dunhuang caves. Explore our homage to this historic journey and cultural marvels.




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