This timeline of clothing and textiles technology covers the events of fiber and flexible woven materialworn on the body; including making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, and systems (technology).
c. 6500 BC – Approximate date of Naalebinding examples found in Nehal 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.
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.
1000's AD – Finely decorated examples of cotton socks made by true knitting using continuous thread appear in Egypt.
1275 – Approximate date of a silk burial cushion knit in two colors found in the tomb of Spanish royalty.
1493 – the first available reference to lace is in a will by one of the ruling Milanese Sforza family
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 it open.
Barber, E. J. W.; Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with special reference to the Aegean; Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1991; ISBN 0-691-03597-0 (Barber 1991)
Barber, Elizabeth Wayland, Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times, W. W. Norton & Company, new edition, 1995 (Barber 1995)
Bender Jørgensen, Lise; 'Stone-Age Textiles in North Europe' in Textiles in Northern Archaeology, Textile Symposium in York, North European Symposium for Archaeological Textiles Monograph 3, NESAT III; London Archetype Publications, 1990; ISBN 1-873132-05-0.