Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ancient Sewing (c. 25,000 B.C.E)

Clothing is fitted using needle and thread.

The history of sewing is closely allied to the history of tools, The earliest needles ever discovered date from the paleolithic era ( the earliest stone age) around 25,000 B.C.E., key finds from that period include needles in south west France and near Moscow in Russia. These
were made of ivory or bone, with an eyelet gouged out. Some have been found along side the remains of foxes and hares that were used for their fur.

Sewing gave our early ancestors the opportunity to make clothing more closely tailored to the human body, improving its insulation and comfort,
as well as inviting decoration. Early scarps of clothes found in france and switzerland have included decorative seeds or animal teeth sewn on by thread, applied perhaps with the add of fish bones or thorns. Native Americans sewed with the tips of agave leaves.

Metal needles were developed in the bronze age and initially were made of several strands of wire melted together. Needles from this era steel was introduced. The first known stitched buttonholes dates from 4200 B.C.E

Embroidery - complex, decorative needlework - appeared in Bronze Age Egypt and India, In China, silk was being sewn and embroidered in the same era. Protective thimbles have been used since Roman times. The famous Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Norman invasion of England, is an example of crewelwork, a form of embroidery with loosely twisted yarn. At least four types of stitch have been identified in the tapestry. Later, the mechanization of textile production began in the sixteenth century with the stocking frame, which led automated looms. Hand-stitching was transformed from the 1830s onward by the arrival of the sewing machine.