Clothing is considered one of the necessities of man. Every human wears some kind of clothing except for some ancient tribes. The history of clothing goes way back to early humans. Although, no one knows the origin of it. Anthropologists have an idea as to why did we start using clothes. The main reason was to protect ourselves from the weather conditions. The material for clothing varied from vegetation to animal skin or fur. Other theories suggest that at first clothes were invented for a purpose other than protecting the body. Ancient people invented clothes for purposes like cult practices, decoration, magic, etc. But they later understood the actual use of the clothing. Alas! There is no enough evidence to prove everything. Although, some archeological findings can determine the exact timeframe in which the discovered clothes were made. They are not preserved properly.
During the late Stone Age, textiles came into existence in the Middle East. Also, some pieces of evidence suggest that the practice of clothing began somewhere from 100,000 to 500,000 years ago. Some excavations found primitive sewing needles dating back to 40,000 years ago. The prehistoric cave in the Republic of Georgia which is 36,000 years old gave out dyed flax fibers. The Venus figurines that started appearing in Europe were depicted wearing clothes. This was back 25,000 years ago. The figurines had caps or basket hats, their waist had belts and a piece of clothes on the breast.
The evidence tells that Nalebinding, an early textile method, is a type of knitting that appeared in approximately 6500 BC. Çatalhöyük in Anatolia has a Neolithic site where archeologists discovered the oldest woven textiles of the Near East. People then used these for wrapping the dead. Ancient India used cotton for clothing since the 5th millennium BC. The Ancient Egyptians used linen as bandages for the process of mummification also for kilt dresses. China has proof of the early production of silk. It dates back 5000 and 3000 BC. People extracted it by cutting the cocoon of a domesticated silkworm into the half with a sharp knife. The Jomon period was when the Japanese people started with weaving. It lasted from 12,000 BC to 300 BC.
In the Ancient world
Greece and Roman people used unsewn, wide fabric to make their clothes. The fabrics they used were expensive hence they did not wish to cut them. Women wore a special kind of robe called peplos. Men wore a cloak called chlamys. Both the genders wore a type of tunic which was short for men and longer for women. They called it chiton. The free Roman citizens wore an unsewn length of wool cloth. They called it toga. Hence, wore a simple tunic under the toga. They made it from two simple rectangles joined at the shoulders and sides. The Roman women draped a stola that was long and touched the ground. From 1200 BC to 500 AD women in Iron Age wore wool dresses, tunics, and skirts with belts to hold them in places. Whereas, men wore long trousers and leg wrappers with breeches for protection.
During medieval times, the Byzantines produced and exported rich patterned cloth. This cloth was intended for the lower classes. They resist-dyed and printed the cloth also woven and embroidered. They wore dalmatica over long chitons. A dalmatica is a long cloak or heavier and shorter type of tunica.
The industrial revolution invented machines that spin, weave and sew. This brought the production of better-quality fabrics. The time it took was less and the price was reasonable too. The 20th century brought with it synthetic fibers. These are cheaper than natural. Also, you can mix it with many natural fibers. This was the history of clothing!