The silk and garment industry in Jialing district, Nanchong, Sichuan province has embarked on the path toward high-quality development thanks to the innovative development of enterprises in the industry and the extension of the industrial chain.
Jialing district is the main hub of the cocoon and silk industry in Nanchong, a cradle for China's silk industry and a major source of cargo on the Silk Road.
It is believed that 5,000 years ago, the ancestors of the Nanchong people began growing mulberry, raising silkworms and weaving silk fabric along the Jialing River, a tributary of the Yangtze River.
Today, the silk and garment industry remains a pillar industry in Jialing. The district is home to 18 silk and garment enterprises above designated size, and it has formed a complete silk and garment industrial chain from growing mulberries to printing and dyeing.
In 2021, the silk and garment industry in Jialing achieved an output value of 15.12 billion yuan ($2.26 billion), an increase of 17.12 percent.
Nanchong Yinhai Silk Co Ltd, the largest silk quilt manufacturer in Southwest China, has successfully raised silkworms on a large scale that produce golden cocoons and made golden silk quilt products that do not require chemical dyeing.
Employees work at the silk quilt production workshop of Nanchong Yinhai Silk Co Ltd in Jialing district, Nanchong, Sichuan province. [Photo by Peng Chao/China Daily]
Compared with traditional white cocoons of the same quality, golden cocoons have stronger disease-resistant abilities and are easier to raise, said He Guojun, chairman of Yinhai Silk. The company also solved the decolorization problem of golden cocoons with the help of experts from the Yinhai Silk Academician (Expert) Workstation.
The Yinhai Silk Academician (Expert) Workstation, established by Yinhai Silk, has introduced more than 30 top experts in China's silk industry. With technical support from the experts, the company has obtained 11 national patents and participated in the drafting and formulation of the national standard for silk quilts and the industry standard for silk cotton.
To enhance its competitiveness, Yinhai Silk has established a large-scale sericulture base in Jialing with a mulberry field with an area of more than 333.3 hectares, a total of 4 million mulberry trees, and a cocoonery with an area of 15,000 square meters.
The company currently produces more than 300,000 silk quilts per year, with revenue reaching nearly 100 million yuan in 2021. It has established a strategic partnership with a number of well-known domestic textile brands.
He said that the company will continue to increase investment in new product research and development, making full use of the Yinhai Silk Academician (Expert) Workstation to achieve high-quality development through technological innovation.
Yinhai Silk will also work to cultivate its own brand and promote its products through channels such as live broadcasts and e-commerce, he said.
Shu painting products are displayed at a Shu painting museum built by Sichuan Shuncheng Textile Co Ltd in Jialing district, Nanchong, Sichuan province. [Photo by Peng Chao/China Daily]
Sichuan Shuncheng Textile Co Ltd has been striving to promote Shu painting and develop various kinds of products based on the local silk craft.
Shu painting is a unique silk painting skill that originates from ancient Chinese silk painting and has been developed by people in Nanchong since the mid-1970s.
To preserve and develop traditional Shu painting, Shuncheng Textile has built the first Shu painting museum in the country. People can come to the museum to learn about the history of Shu painting, admire famous works, and buy Shu painting products.
"Shu painting can be widely used for products such as pajamas, underwear, cheongsam, skirts, and bedding," said Wang Shangxue, general manager of Shuncheng Textile.
Wang said the company will strengthen the research and development of Shu painting products and promote sales by upgrading the Shu painting museum to attract more tourists. It will also take the lead in drafting national industry standards for Shu painting.
A visitor tries out silk weaving at a silk museum operated by Sichuan EW Textile Co Ltd in Jialing district, Nanchong, Sichuan province. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Sichuan EW Textile Co Ltd, another silk enterprise based in Jialing, has built a silk museum to develop silk culture and industrial tourism.
The museum, opened in 2015, gives visitors a full picture of Nanchong's silk history and culture, including tales and historical facts with various exhibits and detailed explanations.
Visitors can learn about the whole technological process of silk production, including cocoon cooking and silk reeling. They can also operate silk-making equipment and purchase silk products themselves.
The silk and garment industry in Jialing is being derived, expanded and extended in other fields, including food and beverages, biomedicine, and cultural tourism, with new industrial development models and business formats constantly emerging, said local officials.
The district plans to promote the transformation and upgrading of its silk and garment industry to develop itself into a national cocoon and silk trading center, a silk cultural tourism destination in western China, and a major silk and garment production and export base.