Yogdorlik Silk Factory, Margilan

by budgettravelnotes on June 13, 2010

As we were travelling along the Silk Route we felt obliged to go and see the Yogdorlik Silk Factory in Margilan.  This was once one of the major producers, but is now dwarfed by the state factories outside town.  The big difference is that in Yogdorlik, the entire process is still manual.

Unfortunately when we arrived there was not an English guide around for the free tour, so we tagged along with a French tour group and picked up the odd bit of information.  If my guidebook was correct, the silkworms are grown in people’s houses after being bought for cheap from the state.  The owners then feed them with mulberry leaves until they reach the right size (by which point they are munching away at an incredible amount of leaves!) then they sell them back to the factory.

The tour started with the silk being extracted from the cocoons and the thread being created.  The threads are then dyed, and various garments made from this.  When we walked into the machine room where small looms were used the sound was deafening.

There is a small shop on the site where there are various silk products for sale from scarfs to jackets.  Like most tempting purchases so far we had to skip it due to the lack of space in our backpacks.

I’m sure I could have given a better description of the process if I was on a tour in my native language, which is usually offered.  Despite it being a bit of a hassle to get there for us, and relatively expensive, if you are in this area the Silk Factory is worth a visit.  Avoid a Sunday though as we arrived then when trying to find accommodation and I think that is the workers day off so there’s little to see.

As for the rest of the Fergana Valley it is reported in the guidebooks as very green a beautiful but we never found it particularly stunning and glad we never spent more time there.  This may be different if you go off the beaten track, but we had far more impressive scenery coming up in our trip so never went looking for it here.

I’ll put some pictures up here when I get some more internet time.

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