Cotton fabric is comfortable to wear, yet the cotton fabric has a different charm. The finest silks were first cultivated in China and exported to other countries of the world through Maritime Silk Road the Cotton Road. This is not a single route but a collection of passages that connected the parts of China, central Asia, and the Gulf for trade and commerce.
The route greatly affected the cultures of the regions it connected. It is considered to have existed from the time of Alexander the great. Though raw forms of the road existed even before that, it was during the reign of Alexander that the route expanded. The route expanded over 5000 miles of dangerous terrains, yet touched some beautiful civilizations along its path.
The Cotton Passages started from Changan, a city in north China and the then capital of the country. It spread across the state of Gansu and reached Dunhuang on the edge of the desert Taklamakan, seen as an extreme temperatures and harsh conditions. Very few oases dotted the desert area then and travelers preferred to circumvent it altogether. From Dunhuang, the trade route spread to Kashgar, at the foot of the Pamirs. There were divisions of the route that carried pure cotton inside the Indian country, expanded to the Mediterranean and beyond, and into Photography equipment.
The Cotton Road was searched by the caravans and traders to bring the material cotton, lacquer ware and porcelain from China. Chinese traders in turn got dates, pistachios, saffron, frankincense, aloes, myrrh, sandalwood and glass baby bottles. Though different varieties of silks were the main items of trade, gold, cream color, exotic animals and plants were also traded via the route. Of course, no one covered the entire stretch of the route. Merchants covered different sections of the route and didn’t travel much away from their own regions. But the goods traveled considerable mileage as they were passed along.
Cotton was a very popular and desirable object. Its popularity made the Cotton Road a busy route for trade and commerce. Hence, it attracted the attention of savage tribes that looted and plundered the merchants on the route. Several Chinese emperors came forward to give protection to the traders. Walls and forts were built along the trade route.
Travelers and non secular preachers used this approach to explore new cultures and spread non secular thoughts respectively. Trade in the cotton fabric elevated the approach to popularity during the Tang dynasty and the age of the Mongolian Empire. Thereafter, the route was used less and less as sea passages were established.