why was india not known for silk production?

Mar 2019
even though silk production in india has been done since ancient times and evidences show silk production as early as indus valley civilization why was indian silk not as famous in the western markets as its cotton products? why did the west prefer chinese silk over the indian silk? were indian silk only manufactured for making saares for instance and not intended for global exports? India was considerably closer to the western markets and a major trade hub compared to china so if indians were making silk, why it was not imported from india instead?
Mar 2019
On the contrary it looks like India was importing silk from china. I've came across references of Chinese silk being treated as luxury goods in India.
can you post those references, because i find that strange, since indians were manufacturing their own silk. i also dont know the difference between indian and chinese silk, is their any good source which elaborates on it?

Apr 2019
I'm sorry I can't quote any reliable source for you but I've found mention of Chinese silk in Sanskrit drama/poetry like in Malti-Madhav by Bhavabhuti. Chinese silk was prepared for the minister's daughter's wedding on the order of the king.
Likes: Ashoka maurya


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
Then it'a a bit of a mystery ,
I cannot think of any reason why the silk worm cultivation was not widespread
maybe religious stricture ?
Mar 2019
In particular, Indo-Roman trade relations, which the Gupta Empire had greatly benefited from. The Guptas had been exporting numerous luxury products such as silk, leather goods, fur, iron products, ivory, pearl, and pepper from centres such as Nasik, Paithan, Pataliputra, and Benares. The Huna invasion probably disrupted these trade relations and the tax revenues that came with them.[86]
this source mentions that during gupta empire india was exporting silk to the romans, im not sure how credible it is

Indo-Roman trade relations - Wikipedia

some western cholar also states that india might be exporting chinese silk which cae to china to the romans

The 1st-century Periplus notes how a country called This, with a great city called Thinae (comparable to Sinae in Ptolemy's Geography), produced silk and exported it to Bactria before it traveled overland to Barygaza in India and down the Ganges River.[33] While Marinus of Tyre and Ptolemy provided vague accounts of the Gulf of Thailand and Southeast Asia,[34] the Alexandrian Greek monk and former merchant Cosmas Indicopleustes, in his Christian Topography (c. 550), spoke clearly about China, how to sail there, and how it was involved in the clove trade stretching to Ceylon.[35][36] Comparing the small amount of Roman coins found in China as opposed to India, Warwick Ball asserts that most of the Chinese silk purchased by the Romans was done so in India, with the land route through ancient Persia playing a secondary role.[37]
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