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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>The Origin of Clothes Summary

The Origin of Clothes

Article Summary   by:Transnn     Original Author: Transnn
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This abstract was translated from El Origen de la Indumentaria
 

In ancient times, there were no textile industries or clothing stores. Cavemen wore animal leathers and furs. Evidently, this first fashion trend had a lot of success, since it is trendy still to this day, with some obvious differences of course.

Looms appeared seven thousand years ago, and knitted fabric began to be produced during the Middle Ages. Natural elements such as silk, wool and cotton were very important until the 19th century. Synthetic fibers appeared in the last decades. With the coming of the great industrial production, clothes, in a high percentage, were no longer hand-made products.

Since the end of the 20th century, there was a massive interest towards clothes made with artificial fibers, and this was mostly due to the fact that women started working outdoors, and no longer had time to home tailoring or to devote time to garments that needed special care.

At this point we can mention the birth of different garments that are current in use to this day:

-The shirt was created by the Greeks in the 5th century b.C. and it was, for a long time, identified with the proletariat, since the bourgeoisie concealed it. Instead, today it is associated with elegance and respectability.

-The blouse dates from the 15th century, when women started using a type of tight blouse with a belt. For centuries, it was the garment of peasant women, and then it was replaced by a lighter one that matched feminine suits. In 1913, low-cut blouses appeared, and were known as "pneumonia shirts".

-The skirt was at first made of fur, 600,000 years ago. Since then, and until now, women never abandoned it. In 1915, skirts began to expose the ankles, and the great revolution took place in 1965 with the miniskirt.

-Trousers (pantalones in Spanish) owe their name to the martyr medical doctor of the 4th century, San Pantaleón. Four thousand years ago, men from nomad tribes of Central Europe wore a type of loose trousers tied up to the waist. But it was in 1830 when trousers developed as we know them nowadays. In 1860, jeans were created by Levi Strauss, a German that immigrated to San Francisco during the gold fever.

-Rompers appeared by the mid 20th century, and the Viennese Walter Artzt created them. This garment allowed changing diapers without undressing the baby. It had great acceptance, later becoming a very popular clothing item.

-Unisex clothing appeared in the forties and enjoyed great popularity among young people. There are more clothes to be mentioned here, and accessories as well, but that will be dealt with another time. The positive thing to this is that we should recognize that every garment we or others wear has a history of its own, and that the effort and creativity of others allow us, through their work, to enjoy all those things that make our lives better and more comfortable.

Published: June 16, 2008   
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