The rich history of silk fabric only adds to its appeal. First developed in China with its discovery credited to the Empress Leizu, the earliest extant silk fabric dates to 3630 BC, but evidence of the use of silk fibers can be dated to 8500 BC. Long preferred as a luxury textile, silk became the driving force behind the development of the legendary trade routes known as the Silk Road, spreading silk to India, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Europe, and eventually leading to extensive sericulture in Italy and France. Today, silk’s lustre and durability make it a popular choice in both practical applications like protection against insects and medical uses, as well as fashion and home decor. Popular silk fabrics include charmeuse, taffeta, habotai, satin, organza, and chiffon.