Silk Museum of Soufli

Visit the Silk Museum of Soufli

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Silk Museum of Soufli

The older Silk Museum in Soufli (Thrace) belongs to the Museum Network of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP). It is housed in the Kourtidis Mansion (1883) and was set up in 1990. The purpose of the permanent exhibition housed on the ground floor of the Kourtidis Mansion is to show the pre-industrial techniques by which silkworms were bred (sericulture) and silk was woven. It also deals with the socio-economic significance of these activities for Soufli and the surrounding area. The exhibition is arranged as four units with 46 separate sets of exhibits of two -dimensional documentation and information material (texts, photographs, drawings, maps) and items traditionally associated with sericulture and silk-weaving. The first exhibition unit relates the history of silk over time, beginning with China, continuing through Greek and Roman antiquity and Byzantium and covering both the West and the Ottoman period. The second exhibition unit has as its theme the stages in the breeding of silkworms from the production of the "silk-seed" to the suffocation of the cocoons. The third exhibition unit is devoted to the manufacturing of silk, from the cleaning and sorting of the cocoons to the weaving of the fine silks which Soufli once produced. The fourth exhibition unit deals with the broader socio-economic background against which silk-weaving developed in Greece and the rest of Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular emphasis on the rise and decline of the silk industry in Soufli and its contribution to the development of the town. The printed matter on the Silk Museum consists of a leaflet/poster and a monograph entitled Sericulture in Soufli. An educational programme entitled "Unwinding a cocoon ..., addressed to the first classes of primary school and covering traditional sericulture and silk-weaving, has been prepared as part of the MELINA project (Ministry of Culture, Benaki Museum).


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