Silk was very important in China. Silk made fabric which was turned into clothes. It was very luxurious. Silk showed just how important you were.
Silk cloth was extremely valuable in Ancient China. Wearing silk was an important status symbol. At first, only members of the royal family were allowed to wear silk, then silk clothing was restricted to only the noble class. Merchants and peasants were very unfortunate because they didn't get to wear this precious cloth.
A lot of people wanted silk because it is very nice, soft and showed that you should be respected. Silk is a precious commodity highly sought by other countries, so China had to keep it a secret on. how to make it, or else they would lose profit.
Other lands desired silk and would pay high prices for it. China wanted to keep the process for making silk a secret. Anyone caught telling the secret on how it's produced or taking silkworms out of China was put to death. This was so China could keep making silk and getting profits from it because if other lands knew how to make it, they could make it themselves and China wouldn't make a profit.
But did you know that two monks from the Byzantine Empire managed to smuggle some silkworm eggs out of the country by hiding the eggs inside of their bamboo walking sticks?