Talk:History of clothing and textiles

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Origin of clothing[edit]

I don't see how reference 3 ( ) shows that ancestral Homo species wore clothes 650 000 years ago. This sentence should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:620:610:802:4637:E6FF:FE38:FB3F (talk) 14:41, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Clothing use is an important modern behavior that contributed to the successful expansion of humans into higher latitudes and cold climates. Previous research suggests that clothing use originated anywhere between 40,000 and 3 Ma, though there is little direct archaeological, fossil, or genetic evidence to support more specific estimates. Since clothing lice evolved from head louse ancestors once humans adopted clothing, dating the emergence of clothing lice may provide more specific estimates of the origin of clothing use. Here, we use a Bayesian coalescent modeling approach to estimate that clothing lice diverged from head louse ancestors at least by 83,000 and possibly as early as 170,000 years ago. Our analysis suggests that the use of clothing likely originated with anatomically modern humans in Africa and reinforces a broad trend of modern human developments in Africa during the Middle to Late Pleistocene. Kortoso (talk) 21:00, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
"From genetic studies, they are thought to have diverged as subspecies about 30,000–110,000 years ago, when many humans began to wear a significant amount of clothing."
- Ralf Kittler, Manfred Kayser and Mark Stoneking (2003). "Molecular Evolution of Pediculus humanus and the Origin of Clothing" (PDF). Current Biology 13 (16): 1414–1417. doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(03)00507-4. PMID 12932325.
- Stoneking, Mark. "Erratum: Molecular Evolution of Pediculus humanus and the Origin of Clothing". Retrieved 2008-03-24.

Kortoso (talk) 21:04, 14 April 2014 (UTC)


I was looking around the internet to see if I could find some sources and stumbled along this book: |A History of Textile Art. Does anybody happen to have it so they can add some things on the wiki? --Alizera

History of Clothing entry[edit]

I'm back translating this from the French, can anyone help? Are we merging with Clothing & Text? —Preceding unsigned comment added by LaVieEntiere (talkcontribs) 05:27, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

The history sections makes a mention that clothing could have been begun as early as 500,000 years ago. I don't know how such a ridiculous claim can be made (and referenced?) when there were no human beings 500,000 years ago. I'm editing it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:17, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Fleshing out?[edit]

No pun intended - I'm thinking of adding some real information to this article, like the development of garment use, history of cutting, spiral garments (wikified to articles relating to or about current use examples, such as the sari), rectangular or geometric construction (also wikified to current and recent historical/cultural examples), perhaps eventually separate articles on each. Also considering citing Barber and others on clothing, textiles and culture, since what we have here seems to involve little beyond body lice. Any objections? Jauncourt 16:59, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

No objections - rather hearty encouragements. - PKM 16:28, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
The problem with this article is that this topic is way too broad. But good luck! Crypticfirefly 02:47, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Just an idea for how old weaving may be: (talk) 02:16, 9 April 2010 (UTC)JuditOvari


I've started some expansion, based on geography and time. A parallel section on the spread of techniques such as cutting, draping, wrapping, etc. as suggested by Jauncourt would also be great. I have very little reference material on Asia and the Americas; if someone has even the basics that would be helpful.

It's interesting that there is very little mention of textiles in our histories of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome etc.; we can create special "main" articles over time and link them from here and from the approporiate historical articles.

I am keeping this at a survey-level for now, and will try to also put the matching entries in Timeline of clothing and textiles technology, which needs standardization re: citations and some 'fact' tagging. - PKM (talk) 23:04, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I've added some structure and placeholder sections to show where I think this article should go; quite open to other ideas and suggestions. PKM (talk) 02:25, 29 December 2007 (UTC). tweaked PKM (talk) 22:02, 29 December 2007 (UTC).


  • In addition to extracting summaries from the History of fashion series, I want to add developments in textile technology that would be too specialized for those articles (like the replacement of worsted with dense woollens in the middle ages - I have references for that, and for changes in color preferences).
  • Probably take the intro from "ancient" and move it to the top, expand, more on netting and twining, origins of weaving
  • Bits on northwest spread of vertical (warp-weighted) loom and southward spread of horizontal looms from near east (it's in Barber, probably also elsewhere)
  •  Done Need a bit on the Silk road under ancient textile trade
  • Mention nettles as bast fibers in Scandinavia (also in Barber I think)
  •  Done Spread of figured silk patterns (China > Islamic world > Italy/Spain > Northern Europe), roundels and animal patterns being replaced by foliates/pomegranates, rise of velvets, yada yada.
  • Silk manufacture in Europe
  • Indian cottons
  • Bit on textile printing with "main" link (that one still needs cleanup and modernization)

- PKM (talk) 02:54, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

If this gets too long, we can make it a series: Origins - Ancient World - Medieval etc. - PKM (talk) 03:00, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Not quite my area, but fine work. Think the Gutenberg files I located will be any help with this? I'd like to make one of the project's 2008 goals to be raising all top-importance articles to B-class or better. DurovaCharge! 03:02, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
My concern with using the Gutenberg files for this is that it's mostly anthropology and archaeology up to the the Renaissance, and I don;t trust anything 100 years old in that area. But for the later periods, most certainly, and EB 1991 as well. - PKM (talk) 22:05, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I would avoid them like the plague - for example on early European medieval printing on fabrics they will be way out as most of the famous examples 100 yrs ago have been shown by carbon dating etc to be C19 fakes. For earlier periods they may well be much worse. Johnbod (talk) 23:58, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed that PD archaeology and anthropology isn't of much use. I've found that on the craft side of things those sources can be quite helpful. Mme de Dilmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework, for example, is still in print. DurovaCharge! 00:07, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh yes, I have used both Dillemont and Christie for needlework, absolutely! - PKM (talk) 00:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

- Noted work done. PKM (talk) 18:54, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

More todo[edit]

  • Dyeing - PKM (talk) 00:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Huge gaps:
    • Indian subcontinent
    • Pre-Columbian Americas
    • Polynesia
    • Africa
    • Persian Empire (between classical antiquity and ancient empires) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:07, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
These gaps are so big I don't even know how to organize them and make section placeholders. Many of our articles (see Indus Valley Civilization) don't even mention textiles. - PKM (talk) 17:56, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

No one has any proof though

Leather clothing[edit]

There can be no doubt that the first clothing - for a long time - was made of animal skins. Why is this glossed over??? Kortoso (talk) 18:53, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

It is not certain when people first started wearing clothes however, anthropologists give estimates that range between 100,000 to 500,000 years ago. The first clothes were made from natural elements: animal skin and furs, grasses and leaves, and bones and shells. Clothing was often draped or tied however, simple needles made out of animal bone provide evidence of sewn leather and fur garments from at least 30,000 years ago.

Why only Europe?[edit]

A very long period (everything besides antiquity) is very biased towards European clothing. What about all the other continents??? – Erina pl (talk) 17:36, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Then you must be the one who added the sections on China and Japan. Thank you! Kortoso (talk) 16:26, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

+1 This is an euro-centric article. --Martxel Alexander (talk) 05:42, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Why can't you see these:

Maybe would like to add more? Kortoso (talk) 20:13, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Islamic clothing?[edit]

I see no sections for the clothing of the entire Muslim world throughout the ages... it seems to be a glaring omission. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:54, 6 November 2013 (UTC)