The rich history of silk only adds to its appeal. Legend has it that chief wife of Emperor Huang Ti (2677-2597 B.C.) discovered silk when a cocoon dropped from a tree to her cup of tea, and Lady His-Ling drew out a long thread. The Chinese maintained a monopoly on silk production for thousands of years, exporting to the Middle East and Europe via the legendary Silk Road. It wasn’t until the time of the Crusades that Italy became known for its sericulture with France following closely behind. Some favorite high quality silk fabric include silk charmeuse, silk chiffon, silk crepe, silk organza, and silk satin.