A girl prepares skeins of silk for packaging. - - Silkworm Raising (Sericulture). The Silk Road, also known as the Silk Route, was an ancient trade route that linked China with the West and carried goods between the two ancient civilizations of Rome and China. The source of modern-day commercial silk is the Bombycidas (order Lepidoptera). Because of its centuries-old role in sericulture, the native Chinese silkworm has been introduced throughout the world and has approached complete domestication. China's exports today include manufactured textiles and textile fibres such as cotton and silk. Sericulture is carried out in rural communes and continues to play an important role in China's export trade.