Friday, November 6, 2015

Dress-Making: A Short Chronology (part 1 of 2)

Wearing clothes
It was around 650,000 years ago when our ancestors covered their bodies with animal fur and skin as well as barks and leaves of trees. The main purpose was simply to protect the fragile human body against the rain, the sun, wind, and the cold.

These primitive clothes were either tied up or wrapped around the bodies as people went foraging for food.

Needles and threads
Some 19,000 years ago, evidence of needles made of bones and ivory were found. Around 6,000 years ago, woven textiles (linen) were found in Egypt as well as evidence of silk culture in China 5,000 years ago.

This marked the early beginning of dress-making.

Silk road
This was the series of ancient trade routes between China and countries in Asia Minor. The trading between them played a significant role in the development of civilization in China, India, Mesopotamia, Egypt, including Rome.

Classic clothes
In Greece, clothes were simple lengths of wool or linen secured at the shoulders with sashes used as belts. Peplos was a loose ankle-length robe worn by women while chlamys was knee-length robes worn by the men. Both were covered with a loose cloak called himation.

The toga in Rome was an unsewn length of cloth draped on the body over a simple tunic.
This tunic is held together at the shoulders and at the sides.

Medieval Europe
By this time, there had been improvements on the quality of clothes. The Byzantines dressed themselves with richly patterned, embroidered cloths draped over a tunica, the replacement of the toga.

Early medieval Europeans either took to the short tunics with leggings of the invading population (Franks, Anglo-Saxons, and Visigoths) or to the longer Roman tunics.

Cotton and silk as well as dyed linen were popular alongside the old wool.

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