The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human
characteristic and is a feature of most human societies.
It is not known when humans began wearing clothes.
Anthropologists believe that animal skins and vegetation
were adapted into coverings as protection from cold,
heat and rain, especially as humans migrated to new
climates; alternatively, covering may have been invented
first for other purposes, such as magic, decoration,
cult, or prestige, and later found to be practical as
Clothing and textiles have been important in human
history and reflects the materials available to a
civilization as well as the technologies that it has
mastered. The social significance of the finished
product reflects their culture.
Textiles, defined as felt or spun fibers made into yarn
and subsequently netted, looped, knit or woven to make
fabrics, appeared in the Middle East during the late
stone age. From ancient times to the present day,
methods of textile production have continually evolved,
and the choices of textiles available have influenced
how people carried their possessions, clothed
themselves, and decorated their surroundings.
Sources available for the study of the history of
clothing and textiles include material remains
discovered via archaeology; representation of textiles
and their manufacture in art; and documents concerning
the manufacture, acquisition, use, and trade of fabrics,
tools, and finished garments. Scholarship of textile
history, especially its earlier stages, is part of
material culture studies.
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