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Sinology in Würzburg

Silk manufacturers in China

Silk manufacturers in China: Organisation and Technology in in silk manufacturing during the Ming and early Qing periods

The project, funded by the DFG (1994 – 1997) and headed by Prof. Dr. Dieter Kuhn, investigated the economic changes, the scale of production and the organization of work among imperial silk manufacturers in 14th to 18th century China. The focus was on manufactories in Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou.

The research project investigated the organization of silk workshops, the official control of work quality and output rate, as well as the distribution of weaving commissions among imperial and private workshops in the main centres of production Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou.


  • Dagmar Schäfer, Des Kaisers seidene Kleider. State Silk Manufactories in the Ming Peirod (1368 – 1644).
  • Elke Piontek-Ma, Sun Pei’s report on the imperial silk manufactory of Suzhou in the 17th century
  • Dieter Kuhn, Dagmar Schäfer, Weaving an Economic Patter in Ming Times (1368 – 1644). The Production of Silk Weaves in the State-Owned Silk Workshops.