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History of Textiles of South Asia

Jasleen Dhamija

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

South Asia’s rich cultural heritage is expressed in the continuing tradition of textiles, going back nearly five thousand years. Although silk was an important textile very early, it was cotton, cultivated in most parts of South Asia and developed as a fabric, that was probably exported to other countries. Cultivated cotton, developed in the Indian subcontinent around 3000 b.c.e., was woven throughout India. South Asia was open to several contacts through trade, migrations, and conquest, enrichin

The Textile Industry

Sara J. Kadolph and Sara B. Marcketti

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Any overview of the textile industry in the United States and Canada will focus primarily on the United States until the latter part of the nineteenth century, as Canada and its textile production were still controlled by Britain until that time. Textile manufacture was one of the first mechanized industries to incorporate outwork production into its manufacturing procedures. An industry of hand-produced lace existed prior to the introduction of English lace machines in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in

Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit

Sara Oka

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Hawaii’s unofficial uniform is the boardshort—a perfect fit for the birthplace of surfing. Boardshorts in the islands were initially created as custom-made surf trunks during the 1950s and 1960s by tailors at popular venues on Oahu such as the H. Miura Store in Hale’iwa, on the North Shore, Take’s or Linn’s in Waikiki, or M. Nii’s in Makaha. These early trunks were first designed for fit and comfort, maximized for the ultimate wave-riding experience. The evolution of this single, simple garment i

Cotton

Giorgio Riello

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

Encyclopedia entry

Although archaeological evidence shows cotton was known in Europe during the Roman Empire, it was only after 1100 that this fiber was used by Europeans. Even then, Europeans did not produce cloth entirely made of cotton due to the scarcity of the raw material in the continent. By the time of the so-called little ice age of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, cotton had ceased to be grown even in temperate climates like that of southern Italy. Small quantities of Indian textiles probably reac

Materials

Giorgio Riello

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

Encyclopedia entry

Before 1800, fashionable individuals were defined as much by the textiles they chose as the styles they wore. There are characteristics shared by all textiles. First, they were used by people across society to construct notions of worth and appropriateness. Second, their importance in medieval, early modern, and modern European societies was linked to their value. Before industrialization reduced production costs, textiles remained generally luxuries. A third shared characteristic was their ubiqu

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