The origins of silk date back to Ancient China. Ancient literature attributes the popularisation of silk to a Chinese Empress around 2600 B.C. who raised silk worms and designed a loom for making fabrics. Silk is a natural protein filament spun by the silk worm and in which it encases itself in the cocoon. The raw silk filament is extracted and through a series of processes is formed into yarn. Silk yarn is lightweight, resilient and very strong. It has no elasticity and is lustrous with a luxurious feel. It is often blended with wool. The silk adds lustre to the wool whilst the wool gives elasticity to the silk. The resultant silky smooth yarns are of the highest quality.