The Story Of Silk – IELTS Reading Answers
The Academic passage ‘The Story Of Silk’ is a reading passage that appeared in an IELTS Test. Read the passage below and answer questions 1 – 13. Beyond the questions, you will find the answers along with the location of the answers in the passage and the keywords that help you find out the answers.
The Story Of Silk
|1||tea||Paragraph A mentions the legend that it was ‘Lei Tzu, wife of the Yellow Emperor’, ruler of China in about ‘3000 BC’, who discovered silkworms. One account of the story goes that as she was taking a walk in her husband’s gardens, she discovered that ‘silkworms’ were responsible for the destruction of several mulberry trees. She collected a number of cocoons and sat down to have a rest. It just so happened that while ‘she was sipping some tea’, ‘one of the cocoons landed in the hot tea’. Hence, the answer is ‘tea’.|
|2||reel||Paragraph A informs that Lei Tzu, wife of the Yellow Emperor persuaded her husband to allow her to rear silkworms on a grove of mulberry trees. ‘She’ also ‘devised a special reel’ to ‘draw the fibres from the cocoon’ into a single thread so that they would be strong enough to be woven into fabric. Hence, the answer is ‘reel’.|
|3||women||Paragraph B states that originally, ‘silkworm farming’ was ‘solely restricted to women’ (only women were allowed to produce silk), and it was they who were responsible for the growing, harvesting and weaving. Hence, the answer is ‘women’.|
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|4||royalty||Paragraph B brings out the fact that ‘silk’ quickly grew into a ‘symbol of status’, and ‘originally, only royalty were entitled (had the power and privilege) to have clothes made of silk’. Hence, the answer is ‘royalty’.|
|5||Currency||In paragraph B, it is noted that sometime ‘during the Han Dynasty’ (206 BC-220 AD), ‘silk’ was so prized that it was also ‘used as a unit of currency’. Government officials were paid their salary in silk, and ‘farmers paid their taxes in grain and silk’. Hence, the answer is ‘currency’.|
|6||Paper||Paragraph B stated that the earliest indication of ‘silk paper’ being used was ‘discovered’ in the tomb of a noble who is estimated to have died ‘around 168 AD’.
Hence, the answer is ‘paper’.
|7||wool||Paragraph C mentions that demand for ‘this exotic fabric’ (silk) eventually created the lucrative trade route now known as the Silk Road, ‘taking silk westward’ and ‘bringing gold, silver (precious metals) and wool to the East’. Hence, the answer is ‘wool’.|
|8||monks||Paragraph D cites another legend that ‘monks’ working for the Byzantine emperor, Justinian, smuggle ‘silkworm eggs to Constantinople’ in ‘550 AD’, ‘concealed’ (hidden) ‘inside hollow bamboo walking canes’.
Hence, the answer is ‘monks’.
|9||nylon||Paragraph E relates that industrialisation saw the ‘downfall’ (decline) of the European ‘silk industry’. In the ‘twentieth century’, new ‘manmade fibres, such as nylon’, started to be used in what had traditionally been silk products, such as stockings and parachutes.
Hence, the answer is ‘nylon’.
|10||FALSE||Paragraph C brings out the fact that demand for silk eventually created the ‘lucrative trade route now known as the Silk Road’, taking silk westward and bringing gold, silver and wool to the East. It was ‘named the Silk Road’ ‘after its most precious commodity’ (silk), which was ‘considered to be worth more than gold’. As the statement contradicts the information, the answer is ‘FALSE’.|
|11||TRUE||Paragraph C mentions that the ‘Silk Road stretched’ over 6,000 kilometres ‘from Eastern China to the Mediterranean Sea, following the Great Wall of China, climbing the Pamir mountain range, crossing modern-day Afghanistan and going on to the Middle East, with a major trading market in Damascus’. From there, the merchandise was shipped across the Mediterranean Sea. ‘Few merchants travelled the entire route’. Most goods were handled mostly by a series of middlemen and most of the tradesmen went along certain sections of the Silk Route. As the statement agrees with the information, the answer is ‘TRUE’.|
|12||FALSE||Paragraph D points out that the ‘Byzantines were as secretive as the Chinese’, however, and for many centuries ‘the weaving and trading of silk fabric was a strict imperial monopoly’. Then in the seventh century, the ‘Arabs’ conquered Persia, ‘capturing their magnificent silks in the process. Silk production thus spread through Africa, Sicily and Spain as the Arabs swept’, through these lands. As the statement contradicts the information, the answer is ‘FALSE’.|
|13||NOT GIVEN||In paragraph E, it is given that in more recent decades, ‘China’ has gradually recaptured its position as the world’s ‘biggest producer and exporter of raw silk and silk yarn’. Today, ‘around 125,000 metric tons of silk are produced in the world’, and ‘almost two thirds of that production takes place in China’. There is no mention of which product makes up the majority of silk exported from China. Hence, the answer is ‘NOT GIVEN’.|
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