Timeline of clothing and textiles technology
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This timeline of clothing and textiles technology covers the events of fiber and flexible woven material worn on the body; including making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, and systems (technology).
Ancient and Prehistoric
- c. 28000 BC – Sewing needles in use at Kostenki in Russia.
- c. 27000 BC – Impressions of textiles and basketry and nets left on small pieces of hard clay.
- c. 25000 BC – Venus figurines depicted with clothing.
- c. 8000 BC – Evidence of flax cultivation in the Near East.
- c. 6500 BC – Approximate date of Naalebinding examples found in Nahal Hemar cave, Israel. This technique, which uses short separate lengths of thread, predated the invention of knitting (with its continuous lengths of thread) and requires that all of the as-yet unused thread be pulled through the loop in the sewn material. This requires much greater skill than knitting in order to create a fine product.
- c. 6000 BC – Evidence of woven textiles used to wrap the dead at Çatalhöyük in Anatolia.
- c. 5000 BC – Production of linen cloth in Ancient Egypt, along with other bast fibers including rush, reed, palm, and papyrus.
- 4200 BC – Date of Mesolithic examples of Naalebinding found in Denmark, marking spread of technology to Northern Europe.
- c. 3000 BC – Breeding of domesticated sheep with a wooly fleece rather than hair in the Near East.
- c. 2500 BC – The Indus Valley Civilization cultivates cotton in the Indian subcontinent.
- 200 BC to 200 AD – Approximate date of earliest evidence of "Needle Knitting" in Peru, a form of Naalebinding that preceded local contact with the Spanish.
- c. 200 AD – Earliest woodblock printing from China. Flowers in three colors on silk.
- 247 AD – Dura-Europos, a Roman outpost, is destroyed. Excavations of the city discovered early examples of naalebinding fabric.
- 298 AD – Earliest attestation of a foot-powered loom, with a hint that the invention arose at Tarsus.
- 500 AD – jia xie method for resist dyeing (usually silk) using wood blocks invented in China. An upper and a lower block is made, with carved out compartments opening to the back, fitted with plugs. The cloth, usually folded a number of times, is inserted and clamped between the two blocks. By unplugging the different compartments and filling them with dyes of different colors, a multi-colored pattern can be printed over quite a large area of folded cloth.
- 500s – Handheld roller cotton gins invented in the Indian subcontinent.
- 500-1000 – Spinning wheel invented in the Indian subcontinent.
- 600s – Oldest samples of cloth printed by woodblock printing from Egypt.
- 1000s – Finely decorated examples of cotton socks made by true knitting using continuous thread appear in Egypt.
- 1000s – The earliest clear illustrations of the spinning wheel come from the Islamic world.
- 1100s-1300s – Dual-roller cotton gins appear in India and China.
- 1275 – Approximate date of a silk burial cushion knit in two colors found in the tomb of Spanish royalty.
- 1200s-1300s – The worm gear roller cotton gin invented in the Indian subcontinent during the early Delhi Sultanate era.
- 1493 – The first available reference to lace is in a will by one of the ruling Milanese Sforza family.
- 1400s-1500s – The incorporation of the crank handle in the cotton gin, first appeared in the Indian subcontinent some time during the late Delhi Sultanate or the early Mughal Empire.
- 1562 – Date of first example of use of the purl stitch, from a tomb in Toledo, Spain, which allows knitting of panels of material. Previously material had to be knitted in the round (in a tubular form) and cut open.
- 1589 – William Lee invents stocking frame, the first but hand-operated weft knitting machine.
Early modern period
- c. 1600 – The modern spinning wheel comes together with the addition of the treadle to the flyer wheel.
- 1725 - Basile Bouchon in Lyon invents punched paper data storage as a means for controlling a loom.
- 1733 – John Kay patents the flying shuttle.
- 1738 – Lewis Paul patents the draw roller.
- 1745 - Jacques Vaucanson in Lyon invents the first fully automated loom.
- 1758 – Jedediah Strutt adds a second set of needles to Lee's stocking frame thus creating the rib frame.
- 1764 – James Hargreaves or Thomas Highs invents the spinning jenny (patented 1770).
- 1767 – John Kay invents the spinning frame.
- 1768 – Josiah Crane invents the hand-operated warp knitting machine.
- 1769 – Richard Arkwright's water frame.
- 1769 – Samuel Wise solves the mechanization of W. Lee's stocking frame.
- 1779 – Samuel Crompton invents the spinning mule.
- 1784 – Edmund Cartwright invents the power loom.
- 1791 – The Englishman Dawson solves the mechanization of the warp knitting machine.
- 1793 – Samuel Slater of Belper establishes the first successful cotton spinning mill in the United States, at Pawtucket; beginnings of the "Rhode Island System"
- 1794 – Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin.
- 1798 – The Frenchman Decroix (or Decroise) patents the circular bearded needle knitting machine.
- 1799 – Charles Tennant discovers and patents bleaching powder.
- 1801 – Joseph Marie Jacquard invents the Jacquard punched card loom.
- 1806 – Pierre Jeandeau patents the first latch needle (for using on knitting machine).
- 1808 – John Heathcoat patented the bobbin net machine
- 1812 – Samual Clark and James Mart constructed the pusher machine
- 1813 – William Horrocks improves the power loom.
- 1814 – Paul Moody of the Boston Manufacturing Company builds the first power loom in the United States; beginnings of the "Waltham System"
- 1823 – Associates of the late Francis Cabot Lowell of the Boston Manufacturing Company begin operations at the Merrimack Manufacturing Company at East Chelmsford, Massachusetts. In 1826, East Chelmsford becomes incorporated as the town of Lowell, Massachusetts, the first factory city in the United States.
- 1828 – Paul Moody develops the leather belt and pulley power transmission system, which would become the standard for U.S. mills.
- 1830 – Barthélemy Thimonnier develops the first functional sewing machine.
Late modern period
- 1833 – Walter Hunt invents the lockstitch sewing machine but, dissatisfied with its function, does not patent it.
- 1842 – Lancashire Loom developed by Bullough and Kenworthy, a semi automatic Power loom.
- 1842 – John Greenough patents the first sewing machine in the United States.
- 1846 – John Livesey adapts John Heathcoat's bobbinet machine into the curtain machine
- 1847 – William Mason Patents his "Mason self-acting" Mule.
- 1849 – Matthew Townsend patents the variant of latch needle which has been the most widely used needle in weft knitting machines.
- 1855 – Redgate combines a circular loom with a warp knitting machine
- 1856 – William Henry Perkin invents the first synthetic dye.
- 1856 – Thomas Jeacock of Leicester patented the tubular pipe compound needle.
- 1857 – Luke Barton introduces a self-acting narrowing mechanism on S. Wise's knitting machine.
- 1857 – Arthur Paget patents a multi-head knitting machine called "Paget-machine".
- 1859 – Wilhelm Barfuss improves on Redgates machine, called Raschel machines (named after the French actress Élisabeth Félice Rachel).
- 1864 – William Cotton patents the straight bar knitting machine named after him ("Cotton machine").
- 1865 – The American Isaac Wixom Lamb patents the flat knitting machine using latch needles.
- 1865 – Clay invents the double-headed latch needle which has enabled to create purl stitch knitting.
- 1866 – The American Mac Nary patents the circular knitting machine (with vertical needles) for fabrication of socks and stockings with heel and toe pouches.
- 1878 – Henry Griswold adds a second set of needles (horizontal needles) to the circular knitting machine enabling knitting of rib fabrics as cuff for socks.
- 1881 – Pierre Durand invents the tubular pipe compound needle.
- 1892 – Cross, Bevan & Beadle invent Viscose.
- 1890s – Development of the Barmen machine
- 1889 – Northrop Loom: Draper Corporation, First automatic bobbin changing weaving loom placed in production. Over 700,000 would be sold worldwide.
- 1900 – Heinrich Stoll creates the flat bed purl knitting machine.
- 1910 – Spiers invents the circular bed purl knitting machine.
- c. 1920 – Hattersley loom developed by George Hattersley and Sons.
- 1949 – Heinrich Mauersberger invents the sewing-knitting technique and his "Malimo" machine.
- 1953 – First commercial polyester fiber production by DuPont.
- 1954 – Fiber reactive dye invented.
- 1963 – Open-end spinning developed in Czechoslovakia.
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- Theaker 2006.
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- Bennett & Bird 1960.
- Shelagh Vainker in Anne Farrer (ed), "Caves of the Thousand Buddhas", 1990, British Museum publications, ISBN 0-7141-1447-2
- D.L.Carroll Dating the Foot-powered loom: the Coptic evidence American Journal of Archaeology 1985 vol. 89; 168-73
- Lakwete, Angela (2003). Inventing the Cotton Gin: Machine and Myth in Antebellum America. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 1–6. ISBN 9780801873942.
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The first improvement in spinning technology was the spinning wheel, which was invented in India between 500 and 1000 A.D.
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- Baber, Zaheer (1996). The Science of Empire: Scientific Knowledge, Civilization, and Colonial Rule in India. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 57. ISBN 0-7914-2919-9.
- Irfan Habib (2011), Economic History of Medieval India, 1200-1500, page 53, Pearson Education
- Reigate, Emily (1986). An Illustrated Guide to Lace (1988 ed.). WoodBridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. p. 11. ISBN 1851490035.
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