Always the East enchants and attracts us in the West. And one of the most beautiful and precious symbols that comes from that Orient is silk. It is worth retracing his journey that led it from the Far East to Europe.
The Silk Route from the Far East to us
The Romans knew the “Incense Road” that led from the Arabian Peninsula precious goods arriving by sea from India or China. And it also came the silk. The “Silk Road” crossed the deserts of Gobi and the oases of Turkestan, but already in the sixth century, his production was implanted in Byzantium and from the seventh century onwards spread more and more thanks to the Arabs.
But as the well-kept secret of the production of this precious material was unveiled to the world escaping from his homeland, China? In fact bugs, around 2700 BC, were cultivated only in China where there was a ban on the export of silk worms and silk production, resources that had meant the nation’s wealth. And legend has it that it was a princess, hiding everything you need for sericulture – namely mulberry seeds and silkworm – in her bridal hairstyle, to bring out the silk from China. So the silk growing managed to arrive first in India, then in Japan and in Korea and finally in Europe.
In the West, however, the bugs came only in the second half of the sixth century A.D., thanks to two monks sent to China by the Emperor Justinian. Sericulture spread, therefore, first to Constantinople, then to Greece and then to Italy – where it is already attested in 1036, in the province of Avellino. And from Italy bugs spread, then in other European countries.
So it was in southern Italy that silk had its greatest development under the Normans, especially with Ruggero II, and then with Federico II of Swabia. The oldest document that testifies to the mulberry- silk growing in Italy is in April 1036: it is a Memoratorium rogationis, drawn up in Avellino, with which these Giovanni and Pietro take in rent for 15 years by the abbot of San Modesto in Benevento the whole grange of Summonte, also pledging to cultivate and raise silkworms.
Since then there have been no news on the production, until 1773, when Ferdinando IV of Bourbon introduced in San Leucio a manufactory of silk veils that then as “Colonia di San Leucio” became the center of silk production of the Kingdom of Naples. So lampassi, velvets, damasks and brocades in pure silk reached the most refined courts of Europe.
This history of the brightest thread in the world that in the first months of 2015 saw interrupted its course with the announcement of the closure of the last silk factory still active in the Real Colonia della Seta founded by the Bourbons in the eighteenth century, evidence of a cultural and social reality and unrepeatable Italian handicraft history.
It was this sad news to arouse in Clementina Imperiali, proud of his noble Neapolitan origin, a strong desire to recover those fabrics, the most beautiful and precious, a symbol of modernity and elegance Bourbon.
And from those ancient, traditional and noble silks made in San Leucio, Clementina has created elegant bags with refined closures and refined details like coral branches and boule bronze and yellow jade to recall that ancient bond with the homeland, the Empire Chinese.
The first capsule collection of timeless bags, all unique pieces, it went off in a jiffy.
But you can achieve the dream of being able to show off these precious hand bags, carrying at the same time a piece of glorious Italian history: Clementina realizes them to order. After all we are made of the same stuff of our dreams and if this fabric is silk of San Leucio is even better achieve them!
Update information for inquiries and orders on: https://www.facebook.com/Clementina-Imperiali-Bags-Rings-587914168042019/?fref=ts