Thursday, November 15, 2012

Historical Clothing facts

You follow the trends or maybe you walk to your own beat. Whichever way you decide to go, what we know is that you love fashion. Well, clothes were not as accessible or rather simply to make as they are now. Even though garments were in fact simpler, it took much longer to make each one. Here are some interesting historical facts about clothes:

Cotton, linen, silk and nylon.

·         In order to sew a garment, it takes ten times longer to weave that piece of fabric, and even ten more times to spin the thread that makes that cloth!
·         Linen is the fabric that has continuously been used the longest. Cotton started in India but was very expensive at first, so Linen kept being used the most.
·         Linen was used in Ancient Egypt as currency. If a man used his wife’s cloths with no permission he could go to prison.
·         In recorded history, one of the oldest garments is a linen shirt that still has the elbow-creases from its last use, almost 3,000 years ago.
·         Silk comes from silk worms and their cocoons. Each worm will yield up to a mile-long fibers. They are dipped in hot water to unwind the fiber. Silk has been imported into Europe even before the Roman times. Since it’s very expensive, Rayon was invented as a cheaper choice.
·         In the 1930s nylon was invented mostly for women’s stockings as silk was very expensive. Since WW2 used most of the available nylon for parachutes, there was not enough for woman. To come up with a solution, leg make-up was made to imitate stockings. It was a long process that entailed drawing a line in the back of the leg and even the use of stencils!

·         Yellow was obtained from saffron in ancient Greece and reserved mostly for woman, since saffron was used to relief cramps and childbirth pain.
·         The color purple was used in ancient Rome to communicate status. Free young boys used a thin purple stripe to show their freedom. Young woman would wear it to show that they were unmarried. However, if someone other than the emperor and his family wore a garment completely purple, it was against the law.
·         Purple was obtained from dye made out of murex shells, that’s why it was so expensive.   

·         The way to fasten clothes until the Middle Ages was with ties, looping it. It was made this way for clothes to fit the body as it grew or shrank.
·         The first buttons documented were used as decoration. However, they were later used in cuffs of sleeves to avoid people to wipe their noses on them. Up until that point that practice was not frowned upon.

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