On the Suzhou trip our group stopped at a silk factory/buffet. Lunch was good, but the rest was better. It was really fun seeing the processing of the silk worms, weaving the thread, and weaving of the fabric. Then there was the large silk retail operation. Department store size. Bedding. Beautiful. Many in our group bought silk pillows, comforters, or bed spreads. Silk embroidery art work. Silk clothing. These operations are truly for tourists because they actually have clothing in our sizes (unlikely in the local Xi'an stores - even the high end western brands). We enjoyed buying some clothing.
We also bought a beautiful embroidered silk scene. They want you to think the prices are fixed, it is all very formal and the sales help is typically dressed like they work in a jewelry store. When I ultimately bargained it down to 30% of the starting price, I still wonder how much I actually overpaid. I felt better on this one as they followed me out of the building to bring me back when I would not budge on the price. But I wish I knew. Maybe I am better off not knowing.
It really is beautiful. Mary is babysitting it on a wall in her apartment if you want to take a look.
|Mary sent us a picture of it. We still like it!|