A Brief History Of Textile And Clothing Industry


Food, clothing and shelter are considered as the basic needs of mankind. Clothing comes second next to food and so its importance is clear. It is also necessary to protect from heat, rain and cold. Thus man started covering himself first probably with vegetation and leaves and it later developed in to today’s modern machine made garments of various variety and quality. Let us try to trace the path following by mankind in clothing himself.

Pre Historic:

Though history is not very clear on when exactly we as human beings started wearing clothes, however there has been evidences that goes as far back as some 40,000 years ago where needles were there, and hence we would have started wearing clothes in one form or other much before that. Prior to that ancient men and women used skin of animals they hunted as clothes.

Ancient Period:

There is evidence in history on availability of looms and different spinning techniques in ancient civilizations. Mummies are a common example of clothes that were used in ancient Egypt.  Indus valley civilization in India used cotton for their clothes. There are many evidences of Silk production in ancient China. Across Asia there has been various facts established on the usage of looms and various cloth production techniques.

Based on the textile industry the famous silk route flourished during this period. This route extended from China to the Mediterranean Sea. This route was initiated by the Han dynasty, although trade between continents existed before the establishment of this route. This route played a significant factor in development of civilization across continents.

Medieval Period:

The medieval period is when fashion came in to existence. This is also the period where people from different countries and regions had different kinds of clothing and due to many wars and mix of civilizations, people wore different types of clothes. Embroidery was widespread during this period and usage of laces and buttons were also popular.

In 13th century dyeing and usage of wool was replaced by linen.  Linen could be laundered and bleached and in combination with cotton led to different varieties of clothes.

Early Modern Period:

Wool, linen and fabric were available in wide varieties and was very popular. Dyeing was also widespread and thus the combination led to a good variety. Silk was also well established.  Different regions and countries in Europe showed different style of dressing at http://www.teejunction.com.au/.

Distinction between formal and informal dresses began during the 18th century.  Full dress that were worn by Kings and also in formal proceedings began to be out of fashion and shorter dresses were in effect. As outdoor sports became popular different kinds of dresses came in to existence.


Industrial Revolution:

The industrial revolution brought about great changes to the clothing and textile industry. Sewing machines emerged during the 19th century. New machines that were powered by steam engines and waterwheels came in to existence. This made production from small scale to a large scale.

Later in the subsequent decades, changes in transportation industry, population and free trade began to greatly influence fashion as well as the clothing and textile industry.

Thus what started as small and medium scale industry that catered to the local population began to serve worldwide, the subsequent inventions and mass production capability has made this a huge industry worldwide.

History Of Fashion:

Though there have been local clothing worldwide, Europe has been the epicentre of fashion throughout history and has defined world fashion. Even today as one can see many fashion shows being held in Europe and many designers coming from this part of the world, Though Americans have taken over recent times, history points to Europe when it comes to fashion.

An Englishman named Charles Frederick Worth who lived in Paris is regarded as the first designer in fashion industry. He had many tailors and seamstresses who worked for him and was running a relatively large business and the highlight to modern day fashion is that even in 19th century he had his label sewn in garments that he created.

The term haute couture, which is now very popular originally was referred to his works.  This basically means high dressmaking or sewing, referring to the high quality, expensive and manually made clothes that have high attention to detail.

Thus clothing, textile and fashion industries have evolved over the years and a lot more is expected in the future.