Some human cultures, such as the various people of the Arctic Circle, traditionally prefer making clothes entirely of prepared and decorated furs and skins. Other cultures supplemented or replaced leather and skins with cloth: woven, knitted, or twined from various animal and vegetable fibers.
|1. cotton||2. linen||3. wool|
|4. cashmere||5. silk||6. leather|
|7. denim||8. suede||9. lace|
|10. velvet||11. corduroy||12. nylon|
|A. sew by machine||14. sewing machine operator||17. needle||20. feed dog / feed bar|
|B. sew by hand||15. bolt of fabric||18. needle plate||21. bobbin|
|13. sewing machine||16. rack||19. presserfoot|
|22. pattern||25. zipper||28. buckle||31. applique||33. sequins|
|23. thread||26. snap||29. hook and loop fastener||32. beads||34. fringe|
|24. button||27. hook and eye||30. ribbon|
fashion designer: a person who makes original clothes
natural materials: cloth made from things that grow in nature
synthetic materials: cloth made by people, such as nylon
Ask your classmates
1. Can you sew?
2. What’s your favorite type of material?
3. How many types of material are you wearing today?
Different cultures have evolved various ways of creating clothes out of cloth. One approach simply involves draping the cloth. Many people wore, and still wear, garments consisting of rectangles of cloth wrapped to fit – for example, the dhoti for men and the sari for women in the Indian subcontinent, the Scottish kilt or the Javanese sarong. The clothes may simply be tied up, as is the case of the first two garments; or pins or belts hold the garments in place, as in the case of the latter two. The precious cloth remains uncut, and people of various sizes or the same person at different sizes can wear the garment.
Another approach involves cutting and sewing the cloth, but using every bit of the cloth rectangle in constructing the clothing. The tailor may cut triangular pieces from one corner of the cloth, and then add them elsewhere as gussets. Traditional European patterns for men’s shirts and women’s chemises take this approach.
Modern European fashion treats cloth much less conservatively, typically cutting in such a way as to leave various odd-shaped cloth remnants. Industrial sewing operations sell these as waste; home sewers may turn them into quilts.