China's silk industry under the Ming dinasty
The spreading of privately organized production of silk and the development of manufacture production with hired labour force in the Jiangnan region, related to an expanding market economy under the Ming dynasty, took place within guild organizations and thus restricted a spontaneous and more liberate development. The system of supply which made most of the privately woven silk go to the government, also made the private silk production highly dependent on government orders. Because the traditional state production was falling into decay and the system of obligatory tax contributions of craftsmen to the state had disintegrated, the state had to contact the new market-orientated sectors of production and accept some kind of patronage over them. This symbiosis existed only to some extent. Actually, the state obstructed and limited the growth of all market-orientated production which would exceed the narrow framework of its own requirements by all possible means.