Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Chinese textiles update Chinese archaeologists make ground-breaking textile discovery in 2,500-year-old tomb
Wang and her colleagues found more than 20 pieces of fine silk, flax and cotton cloth in 22 of a total 47 coffins unearthed from the tomb in Lijia village of Jing'an county.

"Most of them are fine fabrics and the largest piece is 130 cm long, 52 cm wide and woven with complicated techniques," said Wang, a researcher with the textiles preservation center of the Beijing-based Capital Museum.

A Peking University professor found with infrared devices that a piece of cotton cloth was partly red and partly black. "It was dyed red with vermilion," said Professor Zhang Xiaomei.

Historical records show the Arabians were able to produce vermilion in the eighth century and the Europeans learned the methods from them in the 17th century.