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History of fabrics


Does anyone know what is hidden under the word "fabric"? Fabrics are the weaving articles, that are made in the process of thread-weaving on a hand or mechanical machines. They are differ in designs, colours and the quality of manufacture. Fabrics are made from different materials: wool, cotton, linen, silk, synthetics. A design is arranged in the way of reiterations which is known as "rapport". A design may be made with the help of such methods as thread-weaving, printing and embroidering. All the methods of making ornaments have been used since ancient times and have known almost all the nations. A decorative design is printed on the fabric, according its purpose. A pattern depicts the stylistic originality of various ages in the development of art.

The fabrics of the Antique World and the Ancient East are known from the art relics and literary monuments of the past. While excavating in Egupt, the archaeologists found linen fragments with ornaments, which were weaved in two thousands B.C.

Chinese silk and golden fabrics (with metal threads) were famous for its extraordinary and fairy design from ancient times. The fragments of the fabrics with patterns of V-III century B.C. have been still preserved as they are found in excavations in China. The ornament of Chinese fabrics are in majority geometric patterns, stylized motifs of vegetable and animal world and simbols like round, dragon, cloud, hieroglyph.

Japanese fabrics are similar to Chinese in composition, texture and ornament. The Indian silks and cotton fabrics with printed designs, patterned fabrics made of wool and fine linen materials were famous for a period of centures. The ornaments were stylized as vegetable motifs and plot scenes.

Iran manufactured since ancient times fine woollen fabrics and silks. The ornament consisted of medalions, for example, rounds, ovals with reflection of royal power apotheosis. There were also the hunting scenes and fantastic animals. In XV-XVII centures the Iranian silks and golden fabrics were valued. For these fabrics there were typical to use vegetable and animal motifs, epic scenes.

There were much influence on Byzantine fabrics from Antique and Iranian art. For Byzantine fabrics were typical the rounds with eagles, chariots and Bible scenes inside them.

Turkish satins and velvets on cotton base were ornamented with big patterns of big fans, crescents, the flowers of pinks.

Italian fabrics became famous in XIV century. The prosperity of its manufacture reached its peak in XVI-XVII centures. The most famous were Venetian fabric with "scaly" and fine vegetable ornaments, sometimes with animals. The most valued fabric was Italian brocade.

French fabrics ranked high in XVIII century and competed with Italian. The most worth to mention were Lion velvet, satin and Venetian fabric. Among the popular designs were realistic flowers, bouquets, plot scenes, architecture motifs.

Nowadays the variety of modern fabrics suprises our imagination. Different materials used and its combination, designs, styles... For any taste even most tempted customer.

First of all, we should differ structure from texture of the fabric.

Structure is a difficult to distinguish compound of fibres of different origin which form the whole weaving surface. It may be rough, flat, with patterned reliefs, or like thick felt, etc.

Texture is a visible structure of the fabric. This includes the structure itself, a coloured design or embroiderer and finishing. It may be flat, grainy, shining, mat, dense, homogeneous or contrast to the two latters. The needed texture may be given to any material though it were wool, silk, cotton, linen, etc. It may be done with the help of different combinations of various kinds of yarn, weavings, the methods of making designs or fabric finishing.

Nowadays the combination of threads and fibres, which a fabric contains, may be diverse. For example, cotton-and-polyester, acryl-cotton-viscose, wool-polyester, cotton-viscose-lycra and so on. Such a variety widens the choice, but makes it difficult when buying. Let's look into it together.

Cotton is a natural fibre which is used for spinning and weaving with or without other fibres. Cotton is a soft and hard-wearing fabric which is easy washed after soaking. It can loose its strength under the straight sun rays, that is why it needs protection. Synthetic threads are often used in combination with cotton to give some strength to the latter. The corellation of cotton and synthetics may be various: from 90/10 to 10/90 accordingly. The presence of cotton in fabrics gives them hygienic characteristics: the fabric let pass air through (hygroscopic property). Cotton and linen are always consider to be the best summer fabrics. They are strength, comfortable in wear, easy to wash, quickly get dry, but rumple easily.

Linen is the first fabric the people learned to produce. The quality of it depends on the kind of the plant. The best linen fabric is made from blue flax. It differs from the others in flexibility and elasticity. Linen fibres is used in textile manufacture in the form of complex fibres, consisting of longitudinally joint elementary fibres.


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