Daily Bread for 3.30.24: The Art of Making China’s Most Luxurious Fabric

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 50. Sunrise is 6:37 and sunset 7:30 for 12h 42m 19s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 75.8 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1867, Alaska is purchased from Russia for $7.2 million, about two cents/acre, by United States Secretary of State William H. Seward.

The Surprising Art of Making China’s Most Luxurious Fabric:

Xiangyunsha is a silk that’s not only incredibly soft but also eco-friendly and antibacterial. It’s giving modern synthetics a run for their money.

This is the intricate process behind this legendary fabric. From soaking and drying, to the unique rusty hue achieved through a special reaction involving a specific river mud in China and local yams—each step adds to the charm of what has become known as “soft gold.”

We meet Liang Zhu, a local artisan with a wealth of knowledge about the rich history and cultural significance of Xiangyunsha. But these techniques aren’t just passed down—they’re carefully taught and honed through generations of skilled artisans. We’re unravelling the secrets and wonders of Xiangyunsha, an ancient silk dying technique that has been solidified as part of China’s cultural heritage.

Through the Lens: Acorn Woodpeckers:

The Acorn Woodpecker is a favorite among bird watchers. It has a clown-like appearance and the unique habit of storing acorns in a favored tree that is often used by generations of birds. Wildlife Photographer Marie Read shares her experience photographing the behaviors of these lively birds.

Learn more about Acorn Woodpeckers on All About Birds:

We don’t have this species here, but birders can find them on visits west. Acorn woodpeckers range on the West Coast, from as far north as Oregon along the Pacific into South America. 

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