Worn: A People’s History of Clothing

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In Worn: A People’s History of Clothing, Sofi Thanhauser relates the history of clothing from the utilization of linen and cotton derived from plants to the present-day emphasis on synthetic materials processed from petroleum.

The chapters about individual fabrics are supplemented with stories and anecdotes about inventions and discoveries made along the way, from the safety pin to the sewing machine, and more recently, machinery for mass-production. The chapters pay homage to women whose endeavors resulted all too often in extreme poverty, overwork, near starvation and slavery, from the early days of agricultural field labor to contemporary tragedies in factory fires.

Occasionally, royalty graces the pages, for example, when France’s Louis XIV permitted only a limited number of his courters to wear copies of his favorite bejeweled coat. And later, politics, as in World War II when nylon, the new wonder fabric for hosiery, was in short supply and women tinted their legs with cosmetics, drawing eyebrow-liner seams for a finishing touch. Fashion prevailed to counter difficulties.

Handmade clothing took a back seat as advertising introduced competitive name brands. And yet, with a neat turnabout, the author profiles farmers and weavers once more displaying craftsmanship as they raise sheep to make wool.

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Author Sofi Thanhauser
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Pantheon
Publish Date 25-Jan-2022
ISBN 9781524748395 Buy this Book
Issue April 2022
Category History