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History of clothing and textiles

Belongs to subject Textiles

The study of the history of clothing and textiles traces the development, use, and availability of clothing and textiles over human history. Clothing and textiles reflect the materials and technologies available in different civilizations at different times. The variety and distribution of clothing and textiles within a society reveal social customs and culture. Sources available for the study of clothing and textiles include material remains discovered via archaeology; representation of textiles and their manufacture in art; and documents concerning the manufacture, acquisition, use, and trade of fabrics, tools, and finished garments. Scholarship of textile history, especially its earlier stages, is part of material culture studies.

( The development of textile and clothing manufacture in prehistory has been the subject of a number of scholarly studies since the late 20th century. Evidence suggests that humans may have begun wearing clothing as far back as 100,000 to 500,000 years ago.

Genetic analysis suggests that the human body louse, which lives in clothing, may only have diverged from the head louse some 170,000 years ago, which supports evidence that humans began wearing clothing at around this time. Surviving examples of Nålebinding, another early textile method, date from 6500 BC. Our knowledge of ancient textiles and clothing has expanded in the recent past thanks to modern technological developments. Early woven clothing was often made of full loom widths draped, tied, or pinned in place.

He notices how contemporary women continue wearing those bangles even today. Harappans may not have left any evidence of what clothing or textiles they had at that time Clothing of the elite was made of silk in vivid primary colours.

Here, archaeologists discovered 90 fragments of spindle whorl dated from 3rd century BC to 3rd century AD. The earliest evidence of weaving in Japan is associated with the Jōmon period. These new laws required people to wear different styles and colors to indicate social status. Typical garments were the peplos, a loose robe worn by women; the chlamys, a cloak worn by men; and the chiton, a tunic worn by both men and women. A Danish recreation of clothing found with such bodies indicates woven wool dresses, tunics and skirts. The history of Medieval European clothing and textiles has inspired a good deal of scholarly interest in the 21st century. Clothing in 12th and 13th century Most clothing, especially outside the wealthier classes, remained little changed from three or four centuries earlier. Crusaders returning from the Levant brought knowledge of its fine textiles, including light silks, to Western Europe. National variations in clothing increased over the century.

Black was increasingly worn for the most formal occasions. Mughal India (16th to 18th centuries) was the most important center of manufacturing in international trade up until the 18th century. The largest manufacturing industry in Mughal India was textile manufacturing, particularly cotton textile manufacturing, which included the production of piece goods, calicos, and muslins, available unbleached and in a variety of colours. The cotton textile industry was responsible for a large part of India's international trade. India had a 25% share of the global textile trade in the early 18th century. Indian cotton textiles were the most important manufactured goods in world trade in the 18th century, consumed across the world from the Americas to Japan. Bengal accounted for more than 50% of textiles and around 80% of silks imported by the Dutch from Asia, Bengali silk and cotton textiles were exported in large quantities to Europe, Indonesia, and Japan, and Bengali muslin textiles from Dhaka were sold in Central Asia, where they were known as "daka" textiles. Indian textiles dominated the Indian Ocean trade for centuries, were sold in the Atlantic Ocean trade, and had a 38% share of the West African trade in the early 18th century, while Indian calicos were major force in Europe, and Indian textiles accounted for 20% of total English trade with Southern Europe in the early 18th century. In early modern Europe, there was significant demand for textiles from Mughal India, including cotton textiles and silk products. European fashion, for example, became increasingly dependent on Mughal Indian textiles and silks. Sewing machines emerged in the 19th century streamlining clothing production. Textiles were not only made in factories. Women went to work in textile factories for a number of reasons. The 20th century is marked by new applications for textiles as well as inventions in synthetic fibers and computerized manufacturing control systems.

In the early 20th century, workers in the clothing and textile industries became unionized in the United States. Even high school libraries have collections on the history of clothing and textiles.

Clothing producers soon adopted synthetic fibers, often using blends of different fibers for optimized properties. Synthetic fibers can be knit and woven similarly to natural fibers.

The early 20th century continued the advances of the Industrial Revolution. Global trade of secondhand clothing have promise for reducing landfill use, however international relations and challenges to textile recycling keep the market small compared to total clothing use. Advancements in textile treatment, coating, and dyes have unclear affects in human health, and textile contact dermatitis is increasing in prevalence among textile workers and clothing consumers. Fast fashion has been suggested to contribute to increased levels of textile waste.

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