Clothing Material: Clothing, Clothing History, Functions of Clothes (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

Glide to success with Doorsteptutor material for competitive exams : get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of your exam.

Clothing and Its History

  • The different types of materials worn on the body are collectively known as Clothing.
  • Clothing helps us to protect our bodies against rain, cold and other weather conditions.
  • The first clothes were made up from animal skin, fur, grass, leaves, bone, and shells.
  • The garments were often draped or tied.
  • The early men used to cover their bodies by wrapping tree leaves, woven grass or tree barks, bones, skull, etc.
  • According to History clothes changed along with the culture, fashion, and wealth.
  • It was in the Middle East where the clothes changed along with the culture, fashion, and wealth started.
  • It is also believed that wearing fabric clothes began from 100,000 to 500,000 years ago.

Evolution of Clothing

  • It is believed that the cotton was first cultivated in 3,000 BC.
  • Wool was being woven about 4,000 BC in Egypt.
  • In the year 1935, Nylon, an artificial fiber was invented replacing silk.
  • China was the first country to start with silk production.

Ready-Made Clothing

  • All the clothes were local and hand-sewn before the invention of sewing machines.
  • Individual items of clothing for customers were made by the tailors and seamstresses in most of the towns.
  • The ready-made clothing industry took off after the invention of the sewing machine.

Functions of Clothing

  • It ensures safety during the hazardous activities such as while working in boiler plants.
  • It protects us from various types of weather conditions such as extreme cold or heat.
  • Clothing performs a range of social and cultural functions.
  • In societies, norms about clothing reflect:
    • Standards of modesty
    • Religion
    • Gender
    • Social Status
  • It may also function as a form of adornment and an expression of personal taste or style.
  • Clothing also protects us from environmental hazards such as insects, noxious chemicals, weather, weapons, etc.


  • It was first introduced as a fabric creation technique around 6500 BC.
  • It is a method using which yarn is manipulated to create a textile or fabric.
  • It creates stitches, loops of yarn in a row, either flat or in the round (tubular) .


  • There are two main types of loom, which dominate textile production namely warp-weighted loom and beam boom.
  • The length of the cloth beam determined the width of the cloth woven.
  • Early woven clothing was often made of full loom widths draped, tied, or pinned in place.

Textile Trade in the Ancient World

Textile Trade in the Ancient World

Ancient Near East

  • The earliest known woven textiles of the Near East may be flax fabrics.
  • These flax fabrics used to wrap the dead, excavated at a Neolithic site.

Ancient Egypt

  • In the Neolithic period, evidence exists of linen cloth.
  • Other bast fibers including rush, reed, palm, and papyrus were used alone or with linen to make rope and other textiles.

Ancient China

  • The earliest evidence of silk production in China was found at the sites of Yangshao culture in Xia.
  • From the sites of Hemudu culture in Yuyao, Zhejiang fragments of primitive loom are also seen.

Ancient Thailand

90 fragments of a spindle whorl dated from 3rd century BC to 3rd century AD have been discovered by the archaeologists.

Ancient Japan

  • Clothing became longer and wider in general and sewing methods were more advanced.
  • The pottery pattern imprints depict also fine mat designs, proving their weaving techniques.
  • Rice cultivation was developed during the Yayoi.
  • Due to high cost of the silks, it could be used only by certain classes or ranks.

Developed by: