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Sunday, 11 May 2014


The ancient Greeks made fine wool cloth, which men wore in tunics and women wore in loose dresses. The women  made cloth at home, often with the help of household slaves. But they could also buy cloth in shops.

Greek cloth was linen or wool. It was not fine, because the people were still using primitive warpweighted looms. It was dyed a bright color or bleached white. It might be trimmed with a painted or embroidered border or small allover pattern.

The Greeks imported purple cloth from Tyre, embroideries from Sidon, and fine linen from Egypt

European cloth of the early Middle Ages was wool and linen--the fabrics of the lake dwellers and of ancient Greece and Rome.

Cultivation of both cotton and silk developed in the Byzantine Empire. Conquering Moors carried it to Spain in the 8th century and to Sicily in the 9th.

Around 70 people spent four years in Madagascar collecting and handling over 1 million golden orb weaver spiders to use their silk in the production of an 11-by-4-foot (3.4-by-1.2m) "golden" embroidered cloth, the largest ever of it's kind.

The phrase to be on tenterhooks, meaning to be in a state of suspense or anxiety, is from the Latin. 'tendere' to stretch. The expression derives from cloth-making and weaving, where material was stretched on a frame called a 'tenter' and attached by 'tenter hooks.'

The small cloth placed over the back of your chair on a plane or a train is called an 'antimacassar'. They are so named because they were originally used to protect the fabric of the chair from macassar oil; a very famous hair product in the Victorian period.

China is the world's largest textile exporter with an export value in 2013 nearly seven times greater than the next largest exporting country.

Source  Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.

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