The Evolution of Clothing

Clothing is a way for each individual to express their style in their own way. Today, clothing has came a long way and it even has a slight touch of modern technology available along with it. There are different types of clothing as well as different fashion statements a person can make. In this generation, clothing is the first thing we see on someone and it’s also what we use to read people by. The evolution of clothing has came a long way and ranged from thousands of places from all over the world. 

Dating back to prehistoric times, there has been a substantial amount of evidence proving that people started to wear clothes more than 50,000 years ago. During those times, little were available so many people made clothing from the skin and fur of animals. This method of clothing were usually loosely wrapped around the person’s waist and breast area for women. Soon afterwards, weaving sticks were created and people were able to weave together clothing. People also discovered flax fibers found in caves and needles around 15,000 B.C. However, actual textiles and sewn cloths were made until about 6500 B.C. Sewing and textiles grew over the years as more people created and learned about them. Throughout the Middle Ages, two types of looms were created; which were the wrapped-weighted loom and the two-beam loom. These looms made its way across the world providing people with linens. Before looms were created, people used spinning techniques such as hand-to-hand spinning, thigh rolling, and drop spindles. Other fibers were used to create clothes such as:

  • bast fibers
  • reed fibers
  • palm fibers
  • papyrus fibers
  • Hemp fibers

Wool from sheep was also a popular method for creating clothing, blankets, jackets, and hats. Over time, the spinning loom became apparent in Ancient Thailand and weaving was the most popular in Japan. The weaving method was also used to make other items such as creating mats, baskets, underwear, and even shoes. In Ancient China, people used silk from the silkworm to make clothes only worn by royalty. All over the world, people used similar techniques and had similar clothing throughout the Middle Ages and medieval times.
Throughout the 14th and 15th century, wool continued to be the most popular fabric type. As silk weaving increased throughout the 15th century, there was a dramatic increase in silk clothing throughout all of Europe. During this time period, people’s clothing were very bold, bright and thick. The fabrics were dyed different colors based on your ‘status’ such as bright reds, greens, blues, or golds. During the 18th century, full dresses were worn as an “everyday outfit”. Men also continued to wear full trench coats, breeches, and full suits. Women would also wear long dresses or gowns covering their entire body with rich embroideries or designs.

As we made our way to the 20th century, textile factories were built and thousands of workers would produce clothing and other linens to consumers. Sewing machines had also been developed by his time period which also helped in the full production of clothes. Typical clothes for women looked like long colonial dresses, bonnets, shawls, gloves, and accessorized with jewelry like beautiful bangles or earrings. Men clothing typically looked like long tailcoats, trousers, velvet collars, and jockey boots, which were also accessorized with jewelry like watches and rings.
As the years continued to pass by, women and men started wearing less and showing a little more skin. Hairstyles also started to change and women were allowed to wear their hair down. Women also began to wear more undergarments as they were made available such as stockings, lace, corsets, garters, ruffles, chemise, and petticoats. Many of these garments were made with cotton and silk fabric. In this time period, women and men would always accessorize with either gloves, belts, chains, pocket watches’, large hats and lots of jewelry.

Since time has passed, clothing has evolved greatly. Today, women and men dress however they please. There are countless types of fabric and companies that produce clothing since mills aren’t needed anymore. In this generation, there has also been a break through in modern technology were many products are made with flexible and breathable fabrics allowing your clothes to fit properly, keep you cool throughout the day, and not weight you down. There are so many different types of clothing you can wear now such as:

  • Athletic wear
  • Denim
  • Leather
  • Fur
  • Silk
  • Lingerie
  • Crops
  • Sweat suits
  • Pullovers

and so much more!

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