History always teaches us! Civilization, culture has evolved prodigiously from time to time. Living in the 21st century, a kind of virtual world, we are unaware of the time, when there was a real struggle. Deportment, physical appearance, our modern fabrics, are so well delineated and printed that make us wonder sometimes, the process entailed in making it. Taking it back, archaeologists have discovered that flax, one kind of fiber was made around 34,000 years old, making them the oldest fibers, used by humans. And since then, people kept on bringing to light, new fabrics. The business of fabrics has always been remunerative, and that’s the rationale why ‘Silk road’ was made. The silk road was a way of connecting the traders of fabrics, from different countries. India was so prominent for its fabrics, that it was one of the reasons, why Britishers came to rule. So, they could do a business of the fabric made in India and export it to foreign nations. We can divide the era of Fabrics as before the 20th century, during the 20th century, and 21st century.
1.Before the 20th century
When we think about lifestyle before the 20th century, what comes to our mind is simple living. There were no appliances, all the fabrics were manufactured non-artificially, but there was no lacking in the artistry of people. They have designed fabrics, which were strenuous and one cannot even identify the difference, whether it was a photograph imprinted on it or it was made with hand. In the late 18th century, a drift for men wearing a coat, linen shirt and women were wearing long skirts, frocks tops made from Cotton & Silk. In India Kurta, shirts, pants, traditional dress, sarees, were mostly put on. Cotton, linen, silk was extensively used during that time.
2.During the 20th century
When we talk about evolution, the true meaning of fabric changed during this era. Textile industries commenced expanding to every corner of the world. Due to increased traveling, fashions & designs were adapted. Gowns made from silk were renowned in Western countries. Fashion in the 20th century went from strict corseted dresses to the “anything goes” attitude of today. Linen, wool, cotton, rayon, acetate, and nylon became very much in demand. People became aware of the kind of clothes they should wear to impress. From the lower class to the rich ones, everyone changed their closest. Now people had a different kind of fabrics, for every occasion. The wedding was better with gowns and suits made, Offices were full of formals, and women became trendy, with designer dresses, sarees that were imprinted with art. Weaving & dyeing were common, and an industrial revolution took the world of fabrics to form the base of upcoming generations.
3. 21st century
‘Curiosity is the mother of invention’. And bang, we are now surrounded with fabrics, that are quadruple the times, as just decades ago. The fashion industry has its unique place in the world. The reason being the versatility it offers to people. Denim, Rayon, Cotton, Organza, etc. are available in abundance. Technology has played a vital role in the development of fabrics. As a user, one knows the latest trend going on, what style will suit them, and how it will affect their personality. Shirts, trousers, jeans, skirts, designer sarees, lehengas, tops, have now become part of our lives. Fabrics are the best way, to study the history and evolution of humankind. How man-made things, which were once so pronounced have been replaced by machines. We have to acknowledge that, “Being fashionable never goes out of style.”
Image Reference: By self, Pinterest.