The evolution of textiles

Although man's first articles of clothing and furnishing were probably animal skin wraps, sometimes stitched together using bone needles and animal sinews, he soon attempted to manipulate fibrous materials into textile fabrics, encouraged by experience gained from interlacing branches, leaves and grasses in the production of primitive shelters.

The word 'textile' originates from the Latin verb texere - to weave - but, as the Textile Institute's Terms and Definitions Glossary explains, it is now 'a general term applied to any manufacture from fibres, filaments or yarns characterised by flexibility, fineness and high ratio of length to thickness'.

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