American clothing – 1700s

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Hendrick, an Iroquois leader, in 1740 AD

Hendrick, an Iroquois leader, in 1740 AD

By the 1700s, clothing styles had changed more. There were not so many deer on the East Coast anymore, so deerskin was harder to get. Most people gave up wearing deerskin and started to wear wool and linen clothing. Because Christian settlers on the East Coast thought it was wrong to show your skin or hair, Iroquois and Cherokee women on the East Coast started to wear clothes more of the time. Like European women, they covered their hair with scarves, and wore their skirts longer, down to their ankles.

Joseph Badger - Faith Savage Waldo, 1750

Joseph Badger – Faith Savage Waldo, 1750

Men who wanted to seem stylish began to dress more like European men. Over their linen shirts, they wore wool breeches (shorts) and linen stockings (knee socks), and wool jackets or waistcoats.

In the very end of the 1700s, in 1793, Eli Whitney invented a new kind of cotton gin that let people grow a lot more cotton much cheaper than before, and quickly both Native American people and settlers began to wear cotton clothing instead of the more expensive linen and wool.

Bibliography and further reading about American clothing:

North American clothing before 1500 AD
North American Economy
American History
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By | 2017-08-10T17:39:24+00:00 August 10th, 2017|Clothing, North America|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. American clothing – 1700s. Quatr.us Study Guides, August 10, 2017. Web. November 22, 2017.

About the Author:

Karen Carr

Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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