There is evidence to suggest that human predecessors wore rudimentary forms of clothing as far back as 500,000 years ago, and certainly this was an established practice by 100,000 years ago.
The first clothes were really no more than animal hides draped around the body, often tied with vines or rough ropes made from more animal skin. There has been evidence discovered of primitive forms of jewellery also, in the form of decorative pieces of bone and shell.
Many years later, the Egyptians are credited with the invention of linen. By weaving together the fibres from flax, they discovered that a comfortable and durable fabric could be made. This was used for many items of clothing, although leather was still favoured for a long time. Linen was also used for the wrapping of bodies, or mummification of the dead.
Meanwhile, in India and other South Asian countries, cotton was becoming big. There is evidence to suggest that cotton was used for clothing as far back as 3000BC, which is staggering when we think it is still one of the most widely used textiles today.
Next came the use of wool in clothing – between 1200BC and 500AD, most people would have worn woollen tunics with leather shoes or boots. These items were still more or less tacked together on a straight seam and draped over the body, often being held in place with leather or metal brooches and pins. Weaving became more widespread around this time, and the introduction of dyes meant a wider variety of options, although not for the peasantry unfortunately.
Wider travel opportunities further into the first millennium AD meant that the West began to import luxury items such as silk from the Far East soon after this. There is evidence to suggest that embroidery began to be used in clothing design around this time also. Although wool, linen and hemp were still the most widely used clothing fabrics, the Eastern influences were starting to show.
The discovery of tailoring happened in the mid 14th century. Seams that fit the natural body shape, along with the advent of laces and buttons, heralded the dawn of fashion. Embroidery really took off, and lace became the most sought after accessory, with the ruff rising to prominence in the mid 16th century.
However, the industrial revolution was where it really all began. Mass production techniques, the invention of the sewing machine, and the saturation of the market with synthetic imitations of previously luxury items brought fashion to the masses. By the time the 1960’s rolled around, even the poorest in the West could afford designer silk nightwear, and clothing was no longer about practicality, but all about style.
This post was brought to you by www.myriamgirard.com
No related posts.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.
Leave Your Comments »