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African clothing history – weaving, knitting, embroidery

By |2018-02-22T13:25:02+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa, Clothing|

African clothing history:  An Egyptian painting of Nubians (from modern Sudan), about 1300 BC Weaving comes to Africa By about 2500 BC, some people in Africa started to weave their cloth instead of pounding it, which makes more flexible, comfortable clothing. People buy clothes instead of making them The Egyptians learned from their West Asian neighbors how to weave linen, and very [...]

Who were the Nazca? South American history

By |2018-10-31T07:59:48+00:00September 9th, 2017|History, South America|

Nazca lines - a giant monkey drawn on the desert floor Nazca replace the Chavin After the Chavin state collapsed about 250 BC, two new states formed in Peru - the Moche in the north and the Nazca in the south. What were the Chavin like? More about the Moche South America articles So by about 100 BC, [...]

Roman economy – jobs, stores, money, debt, and trade in ancient Rome

By |2018-05-27T00:09:57+00:00August 31st, 2017|Economy, Romans|

The Roman economy: a Roman olive press mosaic (200-250 AD) now in St. Germain en Laye, France Farming in the Roman economy Most people in the Roman world were farmers. Some of the people who worked on farms were slaves, but most of them were free. (More about farming and debt) Some owned their own [...]

Machine-made clothing – Europe 1600s-1800s

By |2018-04-08T11:14:14+00:00August 4th, 2017|Clothing, Modern Europe|

India cotton (1600s AD) In the early 1600s AD, traders began to bring cotton cloth to Europe on sailing ships from India. People thought this cotton cloth was very convenient - it was pretty, with patterns of flowers on it, and it was easier to wash than linen or wool, and cooler in the summer. With the Industrial Revolution of the late [...]

Clothing in Early Modern Europe

By |2018-04-08T11:14:14+00:00August 4th, 2017|Clothing, Modern Europe|

Maerten van Heemskerck, Portrait of Anna Codde, 1529 In the 1500s AD, women in Europe were still getting used to using the spinning wheel instead of the drop spindle to make thread. The spinning wheel was much faster than the drop spindle - four times faster - and so cloth became more available than it had been during [...]

History of sheep – Ancient sheep and goats

By |2018-04-19T11:22:35+00:00June 12th, 2017|Clothing, Food, West Asia|

History of sheep: Scythian man milking a sheep (Ukraine, 400 BC) Why are sheep important? Sheep are an important part of the economy of North Africa, Europe, and West Asia even today. They were much more important long ago. People wore clothes made out of wool from the sheep, and they drank milk [...]

What is wool? History of wool – Clothing

By |2018-04-18T22:44:40+00:00June 8th, 2017|Clothing, West Asia|

A sheep in a pasture The most interesting thing about wool is that sheep didn't always have wool, or not enough to notice. When people first started hunting sheep, they hunted them for their meat. Sheep hair was more like deer hair is today, short and thick, not long and fine and curly. [...]

Who invented the spinning wheel? History of spinning

By |2018-10-26T07:17:18+00:00June 8th, 2017|China, Clothing|

Spinning wheel in China, Song Dynasty (the date is unknown) Why invent a spinning wheel? For more than three thousand years everybody used a hand spindle to spin wool, cotton, linen, silk, or hemp into thread. But in the Middle Ages the people of the Islamic Empire were making a lot of money [...]

Knitting history – Stocking frames and Luddites

By |2018-11-20T12:50:23+00:00June 8th, 2017|Clothing, Modern Europe|

Knitting history: Stocking frame knitting machine (1750) Knitting silk stockings In the 1500s AD, knitters in Spain and France started to produce very fine knitted silk stockings, with little tiny stitches - something like today's knee-hi stockings. Knitted silk stockings were much more comfortable and fitted better than woven stockings. They were stretchier. Soon [...]

History of Knitting: Who invented knitting? Nalbinding and sprang

By |2018-01-15T14:20:43+00:00June 8th, 2017|Africa, Clothing, What|

History of knitting: Nalbinding hat from Urumchi (ca. 1000 BC) Nalbinding and sprang Even before the invention of spinning and weaving, people were making cloth using early forms of knitting we call "nalbinding" or "sprang", which used one needle to hook together short lengths of yarn. Probably people started this early knitting as [...]