The thread made by silk worms to form their cocoons. The Chinese cultivated the mulberry tree, whose leaves the silkworms ate, and nurtured the eggs of the worms. After the worms spun cocoons and changed into moths, Chinese women unwound the cocoons into fine threads several hundred yards long, dyed them, and spun them into silk fiber. The thread was woven into a light, shiny cloth. Europeans were introduced to silk as a result of Alexander the Great's military campaigns in Asia. The ancient Greeks called the Chinese the "silk people."