History Of Textiles
The earliest known textiles were recovered from a neolithic village in southern Turkey. Rope, netting, matting, and cloth have been found in the Judean desert (dating from 7160 to 6150 B.C.).
Flax was the most common plant fiber used in antiquity. Hemp, rush, palm, and papyrus were also employed as textile fibers in ancient times. Early evidence of the use of flax has been found in north Syria (c. 6000 B.C.), Iraq (c. 5000 B.C.), and Egypt (c. 6000 B.C.). Evidence that fibers from sheep, goats, and dogs were used in textiles as early as the eighth century B.C. has been found in northwest Iran; early use of these fibers has also been traced to Palestine and southern Turkey. Cotton, native to India, was used in Assyria around 700 B.C. The use of silk, originally exclusive to China, appears to have spread to Germany by around 500 B.C.
The ancient Egyptians and later the Israelites preferred garments of white linen and wool. But Kushites, Nubians, and Libyans apparently preferred dyed fabrics. The principal dyes and mordants such as alum were probably known since earliest times. Royal purple was produced by the Phoenicians, who had become major traders in dyes and wools by around 1700 B.C., from murex. Evidence exists of trade in textiles as early as 6000 B.C., in which wool and cloth were important trade goods.
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