Textiles were among the first articles of human manufacture and trade primarily because of the wide availability of raw materials and the many uses of fabric—utilitarian, symbolic, aesthetic. Lengths of cloth can be used as clothing or for ornamentation, but typically fabrics undergo further transformation before consumers buy them. Creating textiles involves a sequence of processes from preparing raw materials through fabricating and finishing the resulting cloth. Yet over five millennia, textiles have experienced repeated changes in virtually every respect—primary materials, production methods, manufacturing centers, and regulations.

The long history of making, trading, and using cloth reveals the ways in which new and hybrid products and styles are created in numerous locations by all kinds of groups and individuals for a dizzying array of purposes. Textile ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles