Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles.
Silk fabric was first developed in ancient China. The earliest example of silk fabric is from 3630 BC, and it was used as wrapping for the body of a child from a Yangshao site in Qingtaicun at Xingyang, Henan.
Legend gives credit for developing silk to a Chinese empress, Leizu (Hsi-Ling-Shih, Lei-Tzu). Silks were originally reserved for the Emperors of China for their own use and gifts to others, but spread gradually through Chinese culture and trade both geographically and socially, and then to many regions of Asia.