Clothing are items used to cover the human body. Humans are the only animals that wear clothing. During the many thousands of years between loosing body hair and learning to make clothes, humans were naked. Some native people in warm, humid climates continue to be naked in everyday life.
Clothing is worn where the human body needs protection; from the sun and dust in hot, dry countries lacking shade and from the cold and wet in temperate climates. Clothing such as thick wool coats and boots keeps the human body warm in very cold temperatures (such as in the arctic).
Clothing is also worn for decoration, as a fashion. People from different cultures wear different clothing, and have different beliefs and customs about what type of clothing should be worn. For many people, clothing is a status symbol. It helps people project an image. Often, clothing is a form of self-expression. Adults in different social or work situations present different views of themselves by the clothes they wear. Young people have an entirely different form of dress to express their personalities. Often people will simply follow popular fashion styles so that they will fit in. Clothing is far more than just a means to protect our bodies.
Clothing is usually made of fabric sewn together, but may also be animal skins. Each body part has a typical item of clothing. The torso can be covered by shirts, arms by sleeves, legs by pants or skirts, hands by gloves, feet by footwear, and head by headgear or masks. In cold climates, people also wear heavy, thick coats such as trenchcoats.
Origin of clothing[change | change source]
There is no easy way to be sure when clothing was first developed, because it was prehistoric and clothing is perishable. One of the earliest that has been found is a cloak made of the fur of squirrels, from a cave in Italy, dated to 23.000 years ago.
Some estimates come from studying the biology of lice. The body louse lives in clothing, and diverged from head lice about 107,000 years ago. This suggests that clothing existed at that time. Other louse-based estimates put the introduction of clothing at around 44,000–74,000 years ago. In September 2021, scientists reported evidence of clothes being made 120,000 years ago based on findings in deposits in Morocco, a country in the northwestern part of Africa.
Some archeologists think Neanderthals became extinct because they never invented the sewing needle, and were then unable to make fitted clothing or footwear to survive the extreme cold of the last ice age.
Things that are not clothing[change | change source]
People often decorate their bodies with makeup or perfume, and they also cut or change the hair on their heads and faces. They might also go in for body modification: tattoos, scarifications, and body piercings. But makeup and tattoos are not kinds of clothing.
Things that are carried and not worn, like wallets, purses, canes, and umbrellas, are called accessories, but they are not kinds of clothing, either. Jewelry and eyeglasses are also accessories that are put on the body. Nail polish is also put on the fingertips and can be interpreted as makeup.
What clothing is made of[change | change source]
Clothing is often made of:
Needed to make clothing[change | change source]
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- "Naked ape: Humans lost body hair long before finding clothes". 2003-08-20. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
- Hoops, Johannes (2001). Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. Vol. 19. Walter de Gruyter. p. 239. ISBN 9783110171631.
- Ralf Kittler, Manfred Kayser & Mark Stoneking (2003). "Molecular evolution of Pediculus humanus and the origin of clothing" (PDF). Current Biology. 13 (16): 1414–1417. doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(03)00507-4. PMID 12932325. S2CID 15277254. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
- Stoneking, Mark. "Erratum: Molecular evolution of Pediculus humanus and the origin of clothing (Current Biology 13:16 (pp. 1414-1417))". Retrieved March 24, 2008.
- "...Lice Indicates Early Clothing Use ...", Mol Biol Evol (2011) 28 (1): 29-32.
- Hallett, Emily Y.; et al. (16 September 2021). "A worked bone assemblage from 120,000–90,000 year old deposits at Contrebandiers Cave, Atlantic Coast,Morocco". iScience. 24 (9): 102988. Bibcode:2021iSci...24j2988H. doi:10.1016/j.isci.2021.102988. PMC 8478944. PMID 34622180.
- Davis, Nicola (16 September 2021). "Scientists find evidence of humans making clothes 120,000 years ago - Tools and bones in Moroccan cave could be some of earliest evidence of the hallmark human behaviour". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2021.