The Silk Road is the world's oldest, and most historically important overland and maritime trade route.
24 MAR 9 MAY
QM Gallery, Katara

The Exhibition

Silks from the Silk Road, portrays art works that reflect the rich artistry of Chinese silk fiber art, mulberry silkweaving techniques and fashion design. It provides an insight into silk, a special local product of Zhejiang which played an important role in the trade along the Silk Road. China National Silk Museum in collaboration with Qatar Museums brings to Doha a selection from its ancient and modern Chinese Silk treasures that demonstrate the artistry of Chinese silk making culture and industry. The exhibition includes 100 selected silk products and modern artistic works of silk garments, as well as other supplementary exhibits such as ceramic tea sets and tea works. The exhibition is an invitation to artistically explore and look into the origin of silk in terms of physical properties and natural qualities. It invites audience to discover the magical cycle of the silkworm, the cocoon, and the production and use of mulberry silk as a raw material for weaving beautiful textiles as well as the use of dyes and embroidery to add sophisticated patterns and aesthetic value. It enables visitors to perceive the rich cultural deposits and artistic charms of silk and learn more about China. This exhibition is supported by Qatar Museums and China National Silk Museum, as a part of Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture.


Silk was first developed in ancient China 5,000 years ago. Silks were originally reserved for the Emperors of China for their own use and as gifts, but spread gradually through the rest of China and then to other parts of the world. Silk garments became not only beautiful articles for daily use but also precious works of art. For more than two thousand years, the Chinese kept the secret of silk to themselves. It was one of the best guarded secrets in history.

The Silk Road

The silk trade reached as far as the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa and the collective routes came to be known as the Silk Road. The Silk Road is the world's oldest, and most historically important overland and maritime trade route and continues to fascinate travellers.

During the second century CE, the Chinese emperor, Han Wu Di's ambassadors traveled west to Persia and Mesopotamia, bearing gifts including silks, creating a new trade route known as the Maritime Silk Road Trade boomed between China and coastal countries including the Arabian Peninsula.