China Silk. A term applied to the plain silks woven in China, Japan and India on the primitive hand looms of those countries. The warp and weft are identical in size and color, and are woven in evenly, producing a beautiful natural luster. Real China silk is easily recognized on account of the imperfections which always mark hand-spinning and hand-weaving; some of the threads being heavier than others, a somewhat irregular or " faulty " surface is produced. The bulk of these fabrics come from China and Japan, India silk being almost a myth, so little of it is made and so little sold. Choice in the market lies practically between the products of China and Japan, about nine-tenths being from China. The difference between these two is not seen by the casual observer. The weave of Japan is smoother, softer in quality and much more beautiful. They wear about equally well and there is no perceptible difference in the price, the range in both being from 50 cents to $3, the latter price being for an extraordinary quality, a yard wide. The usual width is twenty-six inches.

Many persons confound the China and India silks. The China silks are distinguished by their somewhat coarse, irregular threads and by their softness. The India silks have more body and a more even surface, and are better adapted for long outside garments, traveling dresses and petticoats, as they shed the dust; the Chinas are eminently fitted for tea gowns and under-clothing which is to be worn next to the skin, as it laundries welL Almost every city and country town in China is largely devoted to the cultivation of the silk worm, which is carried on usually by young girls. Frequently along some of the narrowest streets of the over-populated cities may be heard the clatter of the loom and the rattle of the shuttle in a little bit of a half-lighted establishment, the door of which is scarcely five feet from that of the opposite shop. A loom stands on each side of the entrance, and the weavers at work are well-nigh in the street, if the paths between the houses may be termed such. This is a characteristic silk factory of that interesting country. Two men working hard all day weave only about three or four yards of "China silk," and get for their day's work about twenty cents. The name " China silk " has also been adopted in the United States recently for a class of machine-woven silks made in imitation of the more serviceable hand-loom product. These imitations are three inches narrower in width and lack the soft quality of the eastern fabrics, and are also free from the imperfection of uneven threads. Both the hand-wrought and power-wove varieties are printed in much the same fashion as calico. When the figure is white upon a dark ground the silk is bleached, then run between rollers that print the ground, leaving the figure blank. Colored figures on white or light grounds simply reverse the process. Complex patterns, employing many colors, have a separate roller and printing for each tint.