The silk road that connected China with the west passes through Kalamata. From antiquity until the Byzantine, silk shaped the business life of the city. In 554 AD monks carried silk worms in their walking sticks and the expansion of the cultivation of silk begins. Silk woven textiles are found in the Byzantine with popping-out geometrical patterns, or animals and other nature motifs. Kalamata becomes the crossroads of these enterprises in this era, while in modern times silk is procured from Soufli in northern Greece.
In the 19th cent. silk became the top exporting good in the world, manufactured industrially. At the time, French ships loaded the silk and each household grew silk worms. The route from the suburbs Metaxada/Sapriki to the port of Pylos is the "silk road" of the region. Silk woven textiles and scarves, transparent and durable, were famous in Constantinople, Asia Minor and all over the world. The nuns of the monastery of Kalograies, dedicated to St. Constantine and St. Helen were trained in Constantinople and specialized in dying silk and painting the fabric. The Monastery still teaches today the art of textile manufacturing to many weavers, The art of silk-weaving originates from Turkey but became a pillar of growth in Messenia bringing about the first industrial breakthrough in town with the silk mills.
Industrial ingenuity, utilization of tradition and the Messenian soil, a landscape of natural beauty, the centre of the world from antiquity until the Byzantine times, this is Messenia today.