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Introduction

Clothing in history, showing (from top) Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Franks, and 13th through 15th century Europeans.

Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel and attire) is a collective term for items worn on the body. Clothing is typically made of fabrics or textiles but over time has included garments made from animal skin or other thin sheets of materials put together. The wearing of clothing is mostly restricted to human beings and is a feature of all human societies. The amount and type of clothing worn depends on gender, body type, social, and geographic considerations.

Clothing serves many purposes: it can serve as protection from the elements, rough surfaces, rash-causing plants, insect bites, splinters, thorns and prickles by providing a barrier between the skin and the environment. Clothes can insulate against cold or hot conditions, and they can provide a hygienic barrier, keeping infectious and toxic materials away from the body. Clothing also provides protection from ultraviolet radiation.

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Bayeux Tapestry
Credit: Image is public domain, copyright has expired.

The Bayeux Tapestry is a 50 cm by 70 m (20 in by 230 ft) long embroidered cloth which explains the events leading up to the 1066 Norman invasion of England as well as the events of the invasion itself. The Tapestry is annotated in Latin. It is presently exhibited in a special museum in Bayeux, Normandy, France.

Selected biography

William Morris
William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement.

Born at Walthamstow near London, Morris was educated at Oxford University, where he met his life-long friend and collaborator, the artist Edward Burne-Jones. In 1856, Morris became an apprentice to Gothic revival architect G. E. Street. That same year he founded the "Oxford and Cambridge Magazine", an outlet for his poetry and a forum for development of his theories of hand-craftsmanship in the decorative arts. In 1861, Morris founded a design firm in partnership with Burne-Jones, the architect Philip Webb and the poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti which had a profound impact on the decoration of churches and houses into the early 20th century. Morris's chief contribution was as a designer of repeating patterns for wallpapers and textiles, many based on a close observation of nature. Morris was also responsible for the resurgence of traditional textile arts and methods of production.

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Detail of cross stitch embroidery from Sweden

Selected article

Extent of Silk Road
The Silk Road, or Silk Route, is a series of trade and cultural transmission routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting East and West Asia by linking traders, merchants, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, nomads and urban dwellers from China to the Mediterranean Sea during various periods of time. The trade route was initiated around 114 BC by the Han Dynasty (114 BC), although earlier trade across the continents had already existed. Geographically, the Silk Road or Silk Route is an interconnected series of ancient trade routes connecting Chang'an (today's Xi'an) in China, with Asia Minor and the Mediterranean, extending over 8,000 km (5,000 miles) on land and sea. Trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the great civilizations of China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Indian subcontinent, and Rome, and helped to lay the foundations for the modern world. The first person who used the terms "Seidenstraße" and "Seidenstraßen" or "Silk Road(s)" and "Silk Route(s)", was the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877.

Selected quote

Sir Walter Scott
O what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.

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