Our family will be going to Suzhou on a day trip from Shanghai in July. The tour company we're working with has set up a tour of the usual attractions but also included a stop at the Silk Embroidery Research Institute. I don't see any posts in the Suzhou or Shanghai forums about that specific place. Under Suzhou attractions, there are a handful of reviews but the most recent reviewer (2 stars) said it was just a showroom and s/he did not see any actual workers. We're not particularly interested in shopping but would be interested in seeing how silk is produced and watching the artisans at work.
Can anyone tell me what to expect? I'm trying to get a sense if it's a tourist trap or if it's worthwhile. Otherwise we'd prefer not to waste our limited time there especially if we can see silk embroidery products just by walking into shops as we tour Suzhou. It's just our family on this tour so we can easily take the Institute off the itinerary.