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Belgium

Karlijn Bronselaer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Belgium played a vital role in the industrialization of the European textile industry. Belgian society changed very quickly due to industrialization during the first half of the nineteenth century. From about the 1820s on the fashionable silhouette in West Europe was the hourglass. Although the average Belgian had neither time nor money for fashion, improved production methods and sewing machines made corsets more affordable. Later, the Art Nouveau or Jugendstil movement (ca. 1890–1920), with its

Linen

Margarita Gleba

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Since prehistory, linen, made from flax, has been one of the most widely used textile materials. Linen does not take easily to natural dyes, so before the advent of synthetic colorants it was rarely dyed. Linen is particularly suitable for utilitarian fabrics, owing to its strength, low elasticity, and durability. The earliest known textiles are linen. In Europe, flax was cultivated by the second half of the seventh millennium b.c.e. Some surviving fabrics are so fine that they still cannot be du

Niue: Dress, Hats, and Woven Accessories

Hilke Thode-Arora

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The small Polynesian island of Niue is one of the highest coral islands in the world. Only its plateau, rising with steep cliffs above a jagged coastline, can be inhabited. Throughout Niue’s history droughts and famines have been experienced with regularity. There are no rivers on the island, and, although soil is fertile, vast stretches of land have been exhausted by shifting cultivation and ill-advised agricultural programs of the past. The soil is easily blown off by frequent and often devasta

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