Watches and jewelry should be removed; loose clothing should be worn. Relaxation is the key for those who wish to contact the dead
A comb is a toothed device used for styling, cleaning and managing hair and scalp. Combs are among the oldest tools found by archaeologists, having been discovered in very refined forms from settlements dating back to 5,000 years ago in Persia. This is to say that the comb has always been among the most important tools of human civilization.
Combs consist of a shaft and teeth that are placed at a perpendicular angle to the shaft. Combs can be made out of a number of materials, most commonly plastic, metal, cotton material or wood. Combs made from ivory and tortoiseshell were once common but concerns for the animals that produce them have reduced their usage. When made from wood, combs are largely made of boxwood, cherry wood or other fine-grained wood. Good quality wooden combs are usually handmade and polished.
Combs can vary in shape according to function. Hairdressing combs may have a thin, tapered handle for parting hair and close teeth. Common hair combs usually have wider teeth half way and finer teeth for the rest of the comb.
A hairbrush, which is larger than a comb, is also commonly used for shaping, styling and cleaning the hair.
Combs can be used for many purposes. Historically, their main purpose was securing long hair in place; decorating the hair; matting sections of hair for locking; or keeping a kippah or skullcap in place. In Spain, a peineta is a large decorative comb to keep a mantilla in place.
In industry and craft, combs are used in separating cotton fibres from seeds and other debris (the cotton gin, a mechanized version of the comb, is one of the machines that ushered the Industrial Revolution). A comb is used to distribute colours in paper marbling to make the swirling colour patterns in comb-marbled paper.
Combs are also a favorite spot for police investigators to collect hair and dandruff samples that can be used in ascertaining dead or living persons' identities, as well as their state of health, toxicological profiles, and so forth.
Stringing a plant's leaf or a piece of paper over one side of the comb and humming with cropped lips on the opposite side dramatically increases the high-frequency harmonic content of the hum produced by the human voice box, and the resulting spread sound spectrum can be modulated by changing the resonating frequency of the oral cavity.
This was the inspiration for the kazoo. Moreover, the comb is also a lamellophone. Comb teeth have harmonic qualities of their own, determined by their shape, length, and material. A comb with teeth of unequal length, capable of producing different notes when picked, eventually evolved into the thumb piano and musical box.
This type of comb has loose teeth and is usually used on kinky hair. It is sometimes worn in the hair.
Specialized combs such as "flea combs" or "nit combs" can be used to remove macroscopic parasites and cause them damage by combing. A comb with teeth fine enough to remove nits is sometimes called a "fine-toothed comb", as in the metaphoric usage "go over [something] with a fine-toothed comb", meaning 'search [something] closely and in detail'. Sometimes in this meaning, "fine-toothed comb" has been reanalysed as "fine toothcomb" and then shortened to "toothcomb".
Sharing combs is a common cause of parasitic infections, as one user can leave a comb with plenty of eggs or even live parasites, facilitating the transmission of lice, fleas, mites, fungi, and other undesirables.
Ancient Egyptian comb, ca. 15th century BCE. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Etruscan comb, ca. 7th century BCE. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Scythian comb, c.a 400 BCE
Ancient Roman comb
A set of combs found on the 16th century ship Mary Rose
Ivory sculptured comb of the 16th century
Head louse comb
A necklace is an article of jewellery which is worn around the neck. Necklaces are frequently formed from a metal jewellery chain. Others are woven or manufactured from cloth using string or twine.
Common features of necklaces include features such as colorful stones (particularly gemstones / jewels), wood (usually carved or polished), art glass, feathers, shells, beads or corals - a wide, wide variety of other adornments have also been used. If a necklace includes a primary hanging feature, it is called a pendant; if the pendant is itself a small container, that is called a locket.
Necklaces have been an integral part of jewellery since the time of ancient civilizations and pre-date the invention of writing.
The birth of necklaces is believed to be as old as the Stone Age, which is around 40,000 years old. The oldest necklaces were made of purely natural materials - before weaving and the invention of string, durable vines or pieces of animal sinew left over from hunts were tied together and adorned with shells, bones or teeth or colourful skins of human prey animals, bird feathers, corals, carved pieces of wood, colorful seeds or stones or naturally occurring gems, or other beautiful or artful natural elements found nearby.
Cloth working and metalworking greatly expanded the range of jewelry available to humans. Twine and string enabled the development of smaller, more durable, more intricate necklaces. After the Bronze Age began and humans discovered how to melt metal and cast it into shapes, bronze, copper, silver, gold, electrum, platinum and a variety of other metals were used to make eye-catching necklaces for both men and women, and metal chains became possible. Gemcutting and glassblowing allowed faceted and highly polished gemstones and/or beautiful art glass to be added to pieces.
In the modern era, a variety of new metals are available for necklaces that earlier generations could not properly melt until high-temperature crucibles and blowtorches were developed, such as stainless steel and titanium; electroplating has enabled mass ownership of gold (or at least gold-veneer) jewelry. Miniaturisation and laser etching enable the crafting of finely detailed artwork, or insignias or other calligraphy, within individual necklace elements.
Women's necklaces are often classified by length.
Clothing is fiber and textile material worn on the body. The wearing of clothing is mostly restricted to human beings and is a feature of nearly all human societies. The amount and type of clothing worn depends on physical, social and geographic considerations. Some clothing types can be gender-specific, although this does not apply to cross dressers.
Physically, clothing serves many purposes: it can serve as protection from the elements, and can enhance safety during hazardous activities such as hiking and cooking. It protects the wearer from 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. Further, they can provide a hygienic barrier, keeping infectious and toxic materials away from the body. Clothing also provides protection from harmful UV radiation.
There is no easy way to determine when clothing was first developed, but some information has been inferred by studying lice. The body louse specifically lives in clothing, and diverge from head lice about 107,000 years ago, suggesting that clothing existed at that time. Another theory is that modern humans are the only survivors of several species of primates who may have worn clothes and that clothing may have been used as long ago as 650 thousand years ago. Other louse-based estimates put the introduction of clothing at around 42,000–72,000 BP.
The most obvious function of clothing is to improve the comfort of the wearer, by protecting the wearer from the elements. In hot climates, clothing provides protection from sunburn or wind damage, while in cold climates its thermal insulation properties are generally more important. Shelter usually reduces the functional need for clothing. For example, coats, hats, gloves, and other superficial layers are normally removed when entering a warm home, particularly if one is residing or sleeping there. Similarly, clothing has seasonal and regional aspects, so that thinner materials and fewer layers of clothing are generally worn in warmer seasons and regions than in colder ones.
Clothing performs a range of social and cultural functions, such as individual, occupational and sexual differentiation, and social status. In many societies, norms about clothing reflect standards of modesty, religion, gender, and social status. Clothing may also function as a form of adornment and an expression of personal taste or style.
Clothing can and has in history been made from a very wide variety of materials. Materials have ranged from leather and furs, to woven materials, to elaborate and exotic natural and synthetic fabrics. Not all body coverings are regarded as clothing. Articles carried rather than worn (such as purses), worn on a single part of the body and easily removed (scarves), worn purely for adornment (jewelry), or those that serve a function other than protection (eyeglasses), are normally considered accessories rather than clothing, as are footwear and hats.
Clothing protects against many things that might injure the uncovered human body. Clothes protect people from the elements, including rain, snow, wind, and other weather, as well as from the sun. However, clothing that is too sheer, thin, small, tight, etc., offers less protection. Clothes also reduce risk during activities such as work or sport. Some clothing protects from specific environmental hazards, such as insects, noxious chemicals, weather, weapons, and contact with abrasive substances. Conversely, clothing may protect the environment from the clothing wearer, as with doctors wearing medical scrubs.
Humans have shown extreme inventiveness in devising clothing solutions to environmental hazards. Examples include: space suits, air conditioned clothing, armor, diving suits, swimsuits, bee-keeper gear, motorcycle leathers, high-visibility clothing, and other pieces of protective clothing. Meanwhile, the distinction between clothing and protective equipment is not always clear-cut—since clothes designed to be fashionable often have protective value and clothes designed for function often consider fashion in their design. Wearing clothes also has social implications. They cover parts of the body that social norms require to be covered, act as a form of adornment, and serve other social purposes
Although dissertations on clothing and its function appear from the 19th century as colonising countries dealt with new environments, concerted scientific research into psycho-social, physiological and other functions of clothing (e.g. protective, cartage) occurred in the first half of the 20th century, with publications such as J. C. Flügel's Psychology of Clothes in 1930, and Newburgh's seminal Physiology of Heat Regulation and The Science of Clothing in 1949. By 1968, the field of environmental physiology had advanced and expanded significantly, but the science of clothing in relation to environmental physiology had changed little. While considerable research has since occurred and the knowledge-base has grown significantly, the main concepts remain unchanged, and indeed Newburgh's book is still cited by contemporary authors, including those attempting to develop thermoregulatory models of clothing development.
In most cultures, gender differentiation of clothing is considered appropriate for men and women. The differences are in styles, colors and fabrics.
In Western societies, skirts, dresses and high-heeled shoes are usually seen as women's clothing, while neckties are usually seen as men's clothing. Trousers were once seen as exclusively male clothing, but are nowadays worn by both genders. Male clothes are often more practical (that is, they can function well under a wide variety of situations), but a wider range of clothing styles are available for females. Males are typically allowed to bare their chests in a greater variety of public places. It is generally acceptable for a woman to wear traditionally male clothing, while the converse is unusual.
In some cultures, sumptuary laws regulate what men and women are required to wear. Islam requires women to wear more modest forms of attire, usually hijab. What qualifies as "modest" varies in different Muslim societies. However, women are usually required to cover more of their bodies than men are. Articles of clothing Muslim women wear for modesty range from the headscarf to the burqa.
Men may sometimes choose to wear men's skirts such as togas or kilts, especially on ceremonial occasions. Such garments were (in previous times) often worn as normal daily clothing by men. Compared to men's clothing, women's clothing tends to be more attractive,][ often intended to attract the attention of men. Women of higher status throughout history have worn more modest clothes.
In some societies, clothing may be used to indicate rank or status. In ancient Rome, for example, only senators could wear garments dyed with Tyrian purple. In traditional Hawaiian society, only high-ranking chiefs could wear feather cloaks and palaoa, or carved whale teeth. Under the Travancore Kingdom of Kerala, (India), lower caste women had to pay a tax for the right to cover their upper body. In China, before establishment of the republic, only the emperor could wear yellow. History provides many examples of elaborate sumptuary laws that regulated what people could wear. In societies without such laws, which includes most modern societies, social status is instead signaled by the purchase of rare or luxury items that are limited by cost to those with wealth or status. In addition, peer pressure influences clothing choice.
Religious clothing might be considered a special case of occupational clothing. Sometimes it is worn only during the performance of religious ceremonies. However, it may also be worn everyday as a marker for special religious status.
For example, Jains and Muslim men wear unstitched cloth pieces when performing religious ceremonies. The unstitched cloth signifies unified and complete devotion to the task at hand, with no digression.][ Sikhs wear a turban as it is a part of their religion.
The cleanliness of religious dresses in Eastern religions like Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam and Jainism is of paramount importance, since it indicates purity.
Clothing figures prominently in the Bible where it appears in numerous contexts, the more prominent ones being: the story of Adam and Eve who made coverings for themselves out of fig leaves, Joseph's cloak, Judah and Tamar, Mordecai and Esther. Furthermore the priests officiating in the Temple had very specific garments, the lack of which made one liable to death.
In Islamic traditions, women are required to wear long, loose, non-transparent outer dress when stepping out of the home.][ This dress code was democratic (for all women regardless of status) and for protection from the scorching sun. The Quran says this about husbands and wives: "...They are clothing/covering (Libaas) for you; and you for them" (chapter 2:187).
Jewish ritual also requires rending of one's upper garment as a sign of mourning. This practice is found in the Bible when Jacob hears of the apparent death of his son Joseph.
According to archaeologists and anthropologists, the earliest clothing likely consisted of fur, leather, leaves, or grass that were draped, wrapped, or tied around the body. Knowledge of such clothing remains inferential, since clothing materials deteriorate quickly compared to stone, bone, shell and metal artifacts. Archeologists have identified very early sewing needles of bone and ivory from about 30,000 BC, found near Kostenki, Russia in 1988. Dyed flax fibers that could have been used in clothing have been found in a prehistoric cave in the Republic of Georgia that date back to 36,000 BP.
Scientists are still debating when people started wearing clothes. Ralf Kittler, Manfred Kayser and Mark Stoneking, anthropologists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, have conducted a genetic analysis of human body lice that suggests clothing originated quite recently, around 107,000 years ago. Body lice is an indicator of clothes-wearing, since most humans have sparse body hair, and lice thus require human clothing to survive. Their research suggests the invention of clothing may have coincided with the northward migration of modern Homo sapiens away from the warm climate of Africa, thought to have begun between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago. However, a second group of researchers using similar genetic methods estimate that clothing originated around 540,000 years ago (Reed et al. 2004. PLoS Biology 2(11): e340). For now, the date of the origin of clothing remains unresolved.][
Some human cultures, such as the various people of the Arctic Circle, traditionally make their clothing entirely of prepared and decorated furs and skins. Other cultures supplemented or replaced leather and skins with cloth: woven, knitted, or twined from various animal and vegetable fibers.
Although modern consumers may take the production of clothing for granted, making fabric by hand is a tedious and labor intensive process. The textile industry was the first to be mechanized – with the powered loom – during the Industrial Revolution.
Different cultures have evolved various ways of creating clothes out of cloth. One approach simply involves draping the cloth. Many people wore, and still wear, garments consisting of rectangles of cloth wrapped to fit – for example, the dhoti for men and the sari for women in the Indian subcontinent, the Scottish kilt or the Javanese sarong. The clothes may simply be tied up, as is the case of the first two garments; or pins or belts hold the garments in place, as in the case of the latter two. The precious cloth remains uncut, and people of various sizes or the same person at different sizes can wear the garment.
Another approach involves cutting and sewing the cloth, but using every bit of the cloth rectangle in constructing the clothing. The tailor may cut triangular pieces from one corner of the cloth, and then add them elsewhere as gussets. Traditional European patterns for men's shirts and women's chemises take this approach.
Modern European fashion treats cloth much less conservatively, typically cutting in such a way as to leave various odd-shaped cloth remnants. Industrial sewing operations sell these as waste; home sewers may turn them into quilts.
In the thousands of years that humans have spent constructing clothing, they have created an astonishing array of styles, many of which have been reconstructed from surviving garments, photos, paintings, mosaics, etc., as well as from written descriptions. Costume history serves as a source of inspiration to current fashion designers, as well as a topic of professional interest to costumers constructing for plays, films, television, and historical reenactment.
The Western dress code has been evolving over the past 500+ years. The mechanization of the textile industry made many varieties of cloth widely available at affordable prices. Styles have changed, and the availability of synthetic fabrics has changed the definition of "stylish". In the latter half of the 20th century, blue jeans became very popular, and are now worn to events that normally demand formal attire. Activewear has also become a large and growing market.
The licensing of designer names was pioneered by designers like Pierre Cardin in the 1960s and has been a common practice within the fashion industry from about the 1970s.
By the early years of the 21st century, western clothing styles had, to some extent, become international styles. This process began hundreds of years earlier, during the periods of European colonialism. The process of cultural dissemination has perpetuated over the centuries as Western media corporations have penetrated markets throughout the world, spreading Western culture and styles. Fast fashion clothing has also become a global phenomenon. These garments are less expensive, mass-produced Western clothing. Donated used clothing from Western countries are also delivered to people in poor countries by charity organizations.
People may wear ethnic or national dress on special occasions or in certain roles or occupations. For example, most Korean men and women have adopted Western-style dress for daily wear, but still wear traditional hanboks on special occasions, like weddings and cultural holidays. Items of Western dress may also appear worn or accessorized in distinctive, non-Western ways. A Tongan man may combine a used T-shirt with a Tongan wrapped skirt, or tupenu.
Most sports and physical activities are practiced wearing special clothing, for practical, comfort or safety reasons. Common sportswear garments include shorts, T-shirts, tennis shirts, leotards, tracksuits, and trainers. Specialized garments include wet suits (for swimming, diving or surfing), salopettes (for skiing) and leotards (for gymnastics). Also, spandex materials are often used as base layers to soak up sweat. Spandex is also preferable for active sports that require form fitting garments, such as wrestling, track & field, dance, gymnastics and swimming.
There exists a diverse range of styles in fashion, varying by geography, exposure to modern media, economic conditions, and ranging from expensive haute couture to traditional garb, to thrift store grunge.
The world of clothing is always changing, as new cultural influences meet technological innovations. Researchers in scientific labs have been developing prototypes for fabrics that can serve functional purposes well beyond their traditional roles, for example, clothes that can automatically adjust their temperature, repel bullets, project images, and generate electricity. Some practical advances already available to consumers are bullet-resistant garments made with kevlar and stain-resistant fabrics that are coated with chemical mixtures that reduce the absorption of liquids.
Though mechanization transformed most aspects of human industry by the mid-20th century, garment workers have continued to labor under challenging conditions that demand repetitive manual labor. Mass-produced clothing is often made in what are considered by some to be sweatshops, typified by long work hours, lack of benefits, and lack of worker representation. While most examples of such conditions are found in developing countries, clothes made in industrialized nations may also be manufactured similarly, often staffed by undocumented immigrants.][
Coalitions of NGOs, designers (Katharine Hamnett, American Apparel, Veja, Quiksilver, eVocal, Edun,...) and campaign groups like the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) have sought to improve these conditions as much as possible by sponsoring awareness-raising events, which draw the attention of both the media and the general public to the workers.
Outsourcing production to low wage countries like Bangladesh, China, India and Sri Lanka became possible when the Multi Fibre Agreement (MFA) was abolished. The MFA, which placed quotas on textiles imports, was deemed a protectionist measure.][ Globalization is often quoted as the single most contributing factor to the poor working conditions of garment workers. Although many countries recognize treaties like the International Labor Organization, which attempt to set standards for worker safety and rights, many countries have made exceptions to certain parts of the treaties or failed to thoroughly enforce them. India for example has not ratified sections 87 and 92 of the treaty.][
Despite the strong reactions that "sweatshops" evoked among critics of globalization, the production of textiles has functioned as a consistent industry for developing nations providing work and wages, whether construed as exploitative or not, to thousands of people.
The use of animal fur in clothing dates to prehistoric times. It is currently associated in developed countries with expensive, designer clothing, although fur is still used by indigenous people in arctic zones and higher elevations for its warmth and protection. Once uncontroversial, it has recently been the focus of campaigns on the grounds that campaigners consider it cruel and unnecessary. PETA, along with other animal rights and animal liberation groups have called attention to fur farming and other practices they consider cruel.
Clothing suffers assault both from within and without. The human body sheds skin cells and body oils, and exudes sweat, urine, and feces. From the outside, sun damage, moisture, abrasion and dirt assault garments. Fleas and lice can hide in seams. Worn clothing, if not cleaned and refurbished, itches, looks scruffy, and loses functionality (as when buttons fall off, seams come undone, fabrics thin or tear, and zippers fail).
In some cases, people wear an item of clothing until it falls apart. Cleaning leather presents difficulties, and bark cloth (tapa) cannot be washed without dissolving it. Owners may patch tears and rips, and brush off surface dirt, but old leather and bark clothing always look old.
But most clothing consists of cloth, and most cloth can be laundered and mended (patching, darning, but compare felt).
Humans have developed many specialized methods for laundering, ranging from early methods of pounding clothes against rocks in running streams, to the latest in electronic washing machines and dry cleaning (dissolving dirt in solvents other than water). Hot water washing (boiling), chemical cleaning and ironing are all traditional methods of sterilizing fabrics for hygiene purposes.
Many kinds of clothing are designed to be ironed before they are worn to remove wrinkles. Most modern formal and semi-formal clothing is in this category (for example, dress shirts and suits). Ironed clothes are believed to look clean, fresh, and neat. Much contemporary casual clothing is made of knit materials that do not readily wrinkle, and do not require ironing. Some clothing is permanent press, having been treated with a coating (such as polytetrafluoroethylene) that suppresses wrinkles and creates a smooth appearance without ironing.
Once clothes have been laundered and possibly ironed, they are usually hung on clothes hangers or folded, to keep them fresh until they are worn. Clothes are folded to allow them to be stored compactly, to prevent creasing, to preserve creases or to present them in a more pleasing manner, for instance when they are put on sale in stores.
A resin used for making non-wrinkle shirts releases formaldehyde, which could cause contact dermatitis for some people; no disclosure requirements exist, and in 2008 the U.S. Government Accountability Office tested formaldehyde in clothing and found that generally the highest levels were in non-wrinkle shirts and pants. In 1999, a study of the effect of washing on the formaldehyde levels found that after 6 months after washing, 7 of 27 shirts had levels in excess of 75 ppm, which is a safe limit for direct skin exposure.
In past times, mending was an art. A meticulous tailor or seamstress could mend rips with thread raveled from hems and seam edges so skillfully that the tear was practically invisible. When the raw material – cloth – was worth more than labor, it made sense to expend labor in saving it. Today clothing is considered a consumable item. Mass-manufactured clothing is less expensive than the labor required to repair it. Many people buy a new piece of clothing rather than spend time mending. The thrifty still replace zippers and buttons and sew up ripped hems.
Used, unwearable clothing can be used for quilts, rags, rugs, bandages, and many other household uses. It can also be recycled into paper. In Western societies, used clothing is often thrown out or donated to charity (such as through a clothing bin). It is also sold to consignment shops, dress agencies, flea markets, and in online auctions. Used clothing is also often collected on an industrial scale to be sorted and shipped for re-use in poorer countries.
There are many concerns about the life cycle of synthetics, which come primarily from petrochemicals.][ Unlike natural fibers, their source is not renewable and they are not biodegradable.][
Garment factory in Bangladesh
Knit garments made in Bangladesh, factory showroom
Different types of pre-wash performed on denim, factory showroom
Artificial leather jacket made in Bangladesh
Blazer production in Bangladesh
Modern technology and machinery are used in this Bangladesh washing factory for ready made garments
Trousers are an item of clothing worn from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately (rather than with cloth extending across both legs as in skirts and dresses). They are also called pants in some countries, notably the United States. (However, in Britain, the word "pants" generally means underpants and not trousers.) Shorts are similar to trousers, but with legs that come down only to around the area of the knee, higher or lower depending on the style of the garment. To distinguish them from shorts, trousers may be called "long trousers" in certain contexts such as school uniform, where tailored shorts may be called "short trousers", especially in the UK.
In most of the Western world, trousers have been worn since ancient times and throughout the Medieval period, becoming the most common form of lower-body clothing for males in the modern world, although shorts are also widely worn, and kilts and other garments may be worn in various regions and cultures. Since the mid-20th century, trousers have increasingly been worn by females as well. Jeans, made of denim, are a form of trousers for casual wear, now widely worn all over the world by both sexes. Shorts are often preferred in hot weather or for some sports, and also often by children and teenagers. Trousers are worn at the hips or waist, and may be held up by their own fastenings, a belt, or suspenders (braces). Leggings are form-fitting trousers of a clingy material, often knitted cotton and spandex.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland most people use trousers or slacks. Pants is used interchangeably with trousers in some northern dialects of England as is kecks. In Scotland, trousers are occasionally known as trews, which is the historic root of the word 'trousers'. Trousers are also known as breeks in Scots. The item of clothing worn under trousers is underpants. The standard form 'trousers' is also used, but it is sometimes pronounced in a manner approximately represented by "tru:zɨrz", which is possibly a throwback to the Gaelic word truis which the English word originates from. In North America and Australia pants is the general category term, whereas trousers (sometimes slacks in Australia and the United States) often refer more specifically to tailored garments with a waistband, belt-loops, and a fly-front. So informal elastic-waist knitted garments would be called pants, but not trousers (or slacks).
North Americans call undergarments underwear, underpants, undies, jockey shorts, shorts, long johns or panties (the last are women's garments specifically) to distinguish them from other pants that are worn on the outside. The term drawers normally refers to undergarments, but in some dialects, may be found as a synonym for "breeches", that is, trousers. In these dialects, the term underdrawers is used for undergarments.
In Australia, men's underwear also has various informal terms including under-dacks, undies, dacks or jocks.
Various people in the fashion industry use the words trouser or pant instead of trousers or pants. This is nonstandard usage. The words "trousers" and "pants" are pluralia tantum, nouns that generally only appear in plural form—much like the words "scissors" and "tongs". However, the singular form is used in some compound words, such as trouser-leg, trouser-press and trouser-bottoms.
There is some evidence, from figurative art, of trousers being worn in the Upper Paleolithic. An example are the figurines found at the Siberian sites of Mal'ta and Buret'.
Trousers first enter recorded history in the 6th century BCE, with the appearance of horse-riding Iranian peoples in Greek ethnography. At this time, not only the Persians, but also allied Eastern and Central Asian peoples such as the Bactrians, Armenians, Tigraxauda Scythians and Xiongnu Hunnu, are known to have worn them. Trousers are believed to have been worn by both sexes among these early users.
The ancient Greeks used the term "ἀναξυρίδες" (anaxyrides) for the trousers worn by Eastern nations and "σαράβαρα" (sarabara) for the loose trousers worn by the Scythians. However, they did not wear trousers since they thought them ridiculous, using the word "θύλακοι" (thulakoi), pl. of "θύλακος" (thulakos), "sack", as a slang term for the loose trousers of Persians and other orientals.
Republican Rome viewed the draped clothing of Greek and Minoan (Cretan) culture as an emblem of civilization and disdained trousers as the mark of barbarians. As the Empire expanded beyond the Mediterranean basin, however, the greater warmth provided by trousers led to their adoption. Two types of trousers eventually saw widespread use in Rome: the Feminalia, which fit snugly and usually fell to knee or mid-calf length, and the Braccae, a loose-fitting trouser that was closed at the ankles. Both garments were adopted originally from the Celts of Europe, although later familiarity with the Persian Near East and the Teutons increased acceptance. Feminalia and Braccae both began use as military garments, spreading to civilian dress later, and were eventually made in a variety of materials including leather, wool, cotton and silk.
Trousers of various design were worn throughout the Middles Ages in Europe, especially by males. Loose-fitting trousers were worn in Byzantium under long tunics, and were worn by many of the tribes, such as the Germanic tribes that migrated to Western Roman Empire in the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages, as evidenced by both artistic sources and such relics as the 4th-century costumes recovered from the Thorsberg bog (see illustration). Trousers in this period, generally called brais, varied in length and were often closed at the cuff or even had attached foot coverings, although open-legged pants were also seen.
By the 8th century there is evidence of the wearing in Europe of two layers of trousers, especially among upper-class males. This under layer is today referred to by costume historians as “drawers,” although that usage did not emerge until the late 16th century. Over the drawers were worn trousers of wool or linen, which in the 10th century began to be referred to as breeches in many places. Tightness of fit and length of leg varied by period, class, and geography. (Open legged trousers can be seen on the Norman soldiers of the Bayeux Tapestry.)
Although Charlemagne (742–814) is recorded to have habitually worn his trousers, donning the Byzantine tunic only for ceremonial occasions, the influence of the Roman past and the example of Byzantium led to the increasing use of long tunics by men, hiding most of the trousers from view and eventually rendering them an undergarment for many. As undergarments, these trousers became briefer or longer as the length of the various medieval outer-garments changed and were met by, and usually attached to, another garment variously called hose or stockings.
In the 14th century it became common among the men of the noble and knightly classes to connect the hose directly to their pourpoints (the padded under jacket worn with armored breastplates that would later evolve into the doublet) rather than to their drawers. In the 15th century, rising hemlines led to ever briefer drawers until they were dispensed with altogether by the most fashionable elites who joined their skin-tight hose back into trousers. These trousers, which we would today call tights but which were still called hose or sometimes joined hose at the time, emerged late in the 15th Century and were conspicuous by their open crotch which was covered by an independently fastening front panel, the codpiece. The exposure of the hose to the waist was consistent with 15th-century trends, which also brought pourpoint/doublet and the shirt, previous undergarments, into view, but the most revealing of these fashions were only ever adopted at court and not by the general population.
Men's clothes in Hungary in the 15th century consisted of a shirt and trousers as underwear, and a dolman worn over them, as well as a short fur-lined or sheepskin coat. Hungarians generally wore simple trousers, only their colour being unusual; the dolman covered the greater part of the trousers.
The Korean word for trousers baji (originally paji) first appears in recorded history around the turn of the 15th century, but pants may have been in use by Korean society for some time. From at least this time pants were worn by both sexes in Korea. Men wore trousers both outer garments or beneath skirts while it was unusual for adult women to wear their pants (termed sokgot) without a covering skirt. As in Europe, a wide variety of styles came to define regions and time periods and age and gender groups, from the unlined gouei to the padded sombaji.
Around the turn of the 16th century it became conventional to separate hose into two pieces, one from the waist to the crotch which fastened around the top of the legs, called trunk hose, and the other running beneath it to the foot. The trunk hose soon reached down the thigh to fasten below the knee and were now usually called "breeches" to distinguish them from the lower-leg coverings still called hose or, sometimes stockings. By the end of the 16th century, the codpiece had also been incorporated into breeches which featured a fly or fall front opening.
In order to modernize, Tsar Peter the Great issued a decree in 1701 commanding every Russian, other than clergy and peasant farmers, to wear trousers.
During the French Revolution, the male citizens of France adopted a working-class costume including ankle-length trousers, or pantaloons (from a Commedia dell'Arte character named Pantalone) in place of the aristocratic knee-breeches. The new garment of the revolutionaries differed from that of the ancien regime upper classes in three ways: it was loose where the style for breeches had most recently been form-fitting, it was ankle length where breeches had generally been knee-length for more than two centuries, and they were open at the bottom while breeches were fastened. This style was introduced to England in the early 19th century, possibly][ by Beau Brummell, and by mid-century had supplanted breeches as fashionable street wear. At this point, even knee-length pants adopted the open bottoms of trousers (see shorts) and were worn by young boys, for sports, and in tropical climates. Breeches proper survived into the 20th century as court dress, and also in baggy mid-calf (or three-quarter length) versions known as plus-fours or knickers worn for active sports and by young school-boys. Types of breeches are still worn today by baseball and American football players.
Sailors may have played a role in the worldwide dissemination of trousers as a fashion. In the 17th and 18th centuries, sailors wore baggy trousers known as galligaskins. Sailors also pioneered the wearing of jeans, trousers made of denim.][ These became more popular in the late 19th century in the American West because of their ruggedness and durability.
Although women had been wearing trousers for outdoor work thousands of years earlier in the Western world, by the time of Christianization it had become taboo for women to wear trousers. It was Eastern culture that inspired French designer Paul Poiret (1879–1944) to become one of the first to design pants for women. In 1913 Poiret created loose-fitting, wide-leg trousers for women called harem pants, which were based on the costumes of the popular opera Sheherazade. (Written by Nikola Rimsky-Korsakov [1844–1908] in 1888, Sheherazade was based on a famous collection of legends from the Middle East called 1001 Arabian Nights.) It was only in the 1960s that trousers became acceptable wear for Western women.
Starting around the mid-19th century, Wigan pit brow girls scandalized Victorian society by wearing trousers for their work at the local coal mines. They wore skirts over their trousers and rolled them up to their waists to keep them out of the way. Although pit brow lasses worked above ground at the pit-head, their task of sorting and shovelling coal involved hard manual labour, so wearing the usual long skirts of the time would have greatly hindered their movements.
Women working the ranches of the 19th-century American West also wore trousers for riding. In the early 20th century aviatrices and other working women often wore trousers. Frequent photographs from the 1930s of actresses Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn in trousers helped make trousers acceptable for women. During World War II, women working in factories and doing other forms of "men's work" on war service wore trousers when the work demanded it. In the post-war era, trousers became acceptable casual wear for gardening, the beach, and other leisurely pursuits.
In Britain during the Second World War, because of the rationing of clothing, many women took to wearing their husbands' civilian clothes, including their trousers, to work while their husbands were away from home serving in the armed forces. This was partly because they were seen as practical garments of workwear and partly to allow women to keep their clothing allowance for other uses. As this practice of wearing trousers became more widespread and as the men's clothing wore out, replacements were needed. By the summer of 1944, it was reported that sales of women's trousers were five times more than they had been in the previous year.
In the 1960s, André Courrèges introduced long trousers for women as a fashion item, leading to the era of the pantsuit and designer jeans and the gradual eroding of social prohibitions against girls and women wearing trousers in schools, the workplace and in fine restaurants.
Pleats just below the waistband on the front typify many styles of formal and casual trousers, including suit trousers and khakis. There may be one, two, three, or no pleats, which may face either direction. When the pleats open towards the pockets they are called reverse pleats (typical of most trousers today) and when they open toward the fly they are known as forward pleats.
Trouser-makers can finish the legs by hemming the bottom to prevent fraying.][ Trousers with turn-ups (cuffs in American English), after hemming, are rolled outward and sometimes pressed or stitched into place. The main reason for the turn-ups is to add weight to the bottom of the leg, to help the drape of the trousers.][
A fly is a covering over an opening join concealing the mechanism, such as a zipper, velcro or buttons, used to join the opening. In trousers, this is most commonly an opening covering the groin, which makes the pants easier to put on or take off. The opening also allows men to urinate without lowering their pants.
Trousers have varied historically in whether or not they have a fly. Originally, hose did not cover the area between the legs. This was instead covered by a doublet or by a codpiece. When breeches were worn, during the Regency period for example, they were fall-fronted (or broad fall). Later, after trousers (pantaloons) were invented, the fly-front (split fall) emerged. The panelled front returned as a sporting option, such as in riding breeches, but is now hardly ever used, a fly being by far the most common fastening. Most flies now use a zipper, though button-fly pants such as Levi's 501 jeans continue to be available.
At present, most trousers are held up through the assistance of a belt which is passed through the belt loops on the waistband of the trousers. However, this was traditionally a style acceptable only for casual trousers and work trousers; suit trousers and formal trousers were suspended by the use of braces (suspenders in American English) attached to buttons located on the interior or exterior of the waistband. Today, this remains the preferred method of trouser support amongst adherents of classical British tailoring. Many men claim this method is more effective and more comfortable because it requires no cinching of the waist or periodic adjustment.
In modern Western society, males customarily wear trousers and not skirts or dresses. There are exceptions, however, such as the ceremonial Scottish kilt and Albanian fustanella, as well as robes or robe-like clothing like the cassocks of clergy and the academic robes, both rarely worn today in daily use. (See also Men's skirts.)
Based on Deuteronomy 22:5 in the Bible ("The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man"), some groups, including the Amish, Hutterites, some Mennonites, some Baptists, a few Church of Christ groups, and most Orthodox Jews, believe that women should not wear trousers, but only skirts and dresses. These groups do permit women to wear underpants as long as they are hidden.
Among certain groups, low-rise, baggy trousers exposing underwear became fashionable; for example, among skaters and in 1990s hip hop fashion. This fashion is called sagging or, alternatively, "busting slack."
Cut-offs are homemade shorts made by cutting the legs off trousers, usually after holes have been worn in fabric around the knees. This extends the useful life of the trousers. The remaining leg fabric may be hemmed or left to fray after being cut.
In May 2004, in Louisiana, Democrat and state legislator Derrick Shepherd proposed a bill that would make it a crime to appear in public wearing trousers below the waist and thereby exposing one's skin or "intimate clothing". The Louisiana bill did not pass.
In February 2005, Virginia legislators tried to pass a similar law that would have made punishable by a $50 fine "any person who, while in a public place, intentionally wears and displays his below-waist undergarments, intended to cover a person's intimate parts, in a lewd or indecent manner". (It is not clear whether, with the same coverage by the trousers, exposing underwear was considered worse than exposing bare skin, or whether the latter was already covered by another law.) The law passed in the Virginia House of Delegates. However, various criticisms to it arose. For example, newspaper columnists and radio talk show hosts consistently said that since most people that would be penalized under the law would be young African-American men, the law would thus be a form of racial discrimination. Virginia's state senators voted against passing the law.
A belt is a flexible band or strap, typically made of leather or heavy cloth, and worn around the waist. A belt supports trousers or other articles of clothing.
Belts have been documented for male clothing since the Bronze Age. Both genders used them off and on, depending on the current fashion. In the western world, belts were more common for men, with the exception of the early Middle Ages, late 17th century Mantua, and skirt/blouse combinations between 1900 and 1910. Art Nouveau belt buckles are now collector's items.
In the period of the latter-half of the 19th century and up until the first World War, the belt was a decorative as well as utilitarian part of the uniform, particularly among officers. In the armed forces of Prussia, Tsarist Russia, and other Eastern European nations, it was common for officers to wear extremely tight, wide belts around the waist, on the outside of the uniform, both to support a saber as well as for aesthetic reasons. These tightly cinched belts served to draw in the waist and give the wearer a trim physique, emphasizing wide shoulders and a pouting chest. Often the belt served only to emphasize waist made small by a corset worn under the uniform, a practice which was common especially during the Crimean Wars and was often noted by soldiers from the Western front. Political cartoonists of the day often portrayed the tight waist-cinching of soldiers to comedic effect, and some cartoons survive showing officers being corseted by their inferiors, a practice which surely was uncomfortable but deemed to be necessary and imposing.
In modern times, men started wearing belts in the 1920s, as trouser waists fell to a lower line. Before the 1920s, belts served mostly a decorative purpose, and were associated with the military. Today it is common for men to wear a belt with their trousers.
Since the mid-1990s, the practice of sagging, which has roots tracing to prison gangs and the prohibition of belts in prison (due to their use as weapons and devices for suicide), has been practiced at times among young men and boys.
Kente cloth, known as nwentoma in Akan, is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan ethnic group of South Ghana.
Kente cloth has its origin with the Ashanti Kingdom, and was adopted by people in Ivory Coast and many other West African counties. It is an Akan royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance and was the cloth of kings. Over time, the use of kente became more widespread. However, its importance has remained and it is held in high esteem with Akans.
Kente is predominantly made in Akan lands such as Ashanti Kingdom, (Bonwire,Adanwomase, Wonoo in the Kwabre areas of the Ashanti Region) and among Akans. Kente is also produced by Akans in Ivory Coast. Lastly, Kente is worn by many other groups who have been influenced by Akans. It is the best known of all African textiles. Kente comes from the word kenten, which means basket in Akan dialect Asante. Akans refer to kente as nwentoma, meaning woven cloth.
The icon of African cultural heritage around the world, Akan kente is identified by its dazzling, multicolored patterns of bright colors, geometric shapes, and bold designs. Kente characterized by weft designs woven into every available block of plain weave is called adweneasa. The Akan people choose kente cloths as much for their names as their colors and patterns. Although the cloths are identified primarily by the patterns found in the lengthwise (warp) threads, there is often little correlation between appearance and name. Names are derived from several sources, including proverbs, historical events, important chiefs, queen mothers, and plants.
The Maroon people of Suriname in South America are the descendants of people who were brought from Africa as slaves after the mid-1600s and who escaped to live in the forests of the interior, eventually obtaining the right of self-government from the colonial powers. The Pangi cloth made by the Maroons is a cotton fabric with multi-colored vertical and horizontal stripes, similar to West African kente cloth.
Meanings of the colors in Kente cloth:
A variety of kente patterns have been invented, each of which has a certain concept or concepts traditionally associated with it. For example, the Obaakofoo Mmu Man pattern symbolizes democratic rule; Emaa Da, novel creativity and knowledge from experience; and Sika Fre Mogya, responsibility to share monetary success with one's relations.
Legend has it that kente was first made by two Akan friends who went hunting in an Asanteman forest and found a spider making its web. The friends stood and watched the spider for two days then returned home and implemented what they had seen. West Africa has had a cloth weaving culture for centuries via the stripweave method, but Akan history tells of the cloth being created independent of outsider influence.
The origin of kente is in the Akan empire of Bonoman. Most Akans migrated out of the area that was Bonoman to create various states.
Tachrichim (burial shrouds) are traditional simple white burial garments, usually made from 100% pure linen, in which Jews are dressed by the Chevra Kadisha for burial after undergoing a taharah (ritual purification).
In Hebrew, tachrichim means to "enwrap" or "bind." It comes from the verse in Megilas Esther (Chapter 8; verse 15) "And Mordechai left the king's presence in royal apparel of blue and white and a huge golden crown and a wrap of linen (tachrich butz) and purple, and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was happy".
The traditional clothing for burying the dead are tahrihim, simple white shrouds. Their use dates back to Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel II, who, in the second century CE, asked to be buried in inexpensive linen garments. According to the Talmud, Rabban Gamliel observed that the custom of dressing the deceased in expensive clothing put such a terrible burden on the relatives of the deceased, that they would "abandon the body and run."
The custom he initiated - which set both a decorous minimum and a limit on ostentation - has been followed by observant Jews ever since. "Whoever heaps elaborate shrouds upon the dead transgresses the injunction against wanton destruction. Such a one disgraces the deceased." The universal use of shrouds protected the poor from embarrassment at not being able to afford lavish burial clothes. Since shrouds have no pockets, wealth or status cannot be expressed or acknowledged in death. In every generation, these garments reaffirmed a fundamental belief in human equality.
Shrouds are white and entirely hand-stitched. They are made without buttons, zippers, or fasteners. Tahrihim come in muslin or linen, fabrics that recall the garments of the ancient Hebrew priesthood. There is little difference in appearance or cost between them; the funeral home may or may not offer a choice. Tahrihim come packaged in sets for men and women. Regardless of gender, they include shirt, pants, a head covering, and a belt. Men may also be wrapped in a kittel, a simple, white ceremonial jacket that some Jews wear on Yom Kippur, at the Passover seder, and under the wedding canopy.
If the body has been prepared for burial with ritual cleansing (taharah), the body will automatically be dressed in tahrihim. Jewish funeral homes and burial societies (hevra kadishas) in general have a supply on hand, and the cost may be covered by their honorarium.
In addition to tahrihim, some Jews are wrapped in the prayer shawl (tallit) in which they prayed. Every tallit is tied with four sets of knotted fringes (tzizit), which symbolize the commandment (mitzvot) incumbent upon Jews. Before the tallit is placed on a body for burial, however, one of the sets of fringes is cut to demonstrate that the person is no longer bound by the religious obligations of the living. When only men wore tallitot, only men were buried in them; today, any woman who wore a prayer shawl during her lifetime — an increasingly common custom — is accorded the same treatment in many communities.
Tahrihim swaddle the entire body, including the face, so that the deceased is both clothed and protected against the gaze of other people. If shrouds are used, the body is placed in the coffin, which is then closed. In Israel, it is customary to bury the deceased (except soldiers) without a coffin.
The body is clothed in a white linen shroud and not street clothes. Shrouds are sewn without knots, and are a multiple piece garment. In earlier times, the sisterhoods or women's auxiliaries would make shrouds for their community; this practice may still occur in traditional communities. Today, virtually all (Jewish) mortuaries carry shrouds. The prices vary, depending on whether it is cotton or linen, or whether it is hand sewn.
This article is about death in the different cultures around the world as well as ethical issues relating to death, such as martyrdom, suicide and euthanasia. Death refers to the logical end of physical existence of a person i.e. when all biological symptoms of a human being cease to operate. Death and its spiritual ramifications are debated in every manner all over the world. Most civilizations dispose of their dead with rituals developed through spiritual traditions.
In most cultures, after the last offices have been performed and before the onset of significant decay, relations or friends arrange ritual disposal of the body, usually either cremation or interment in a tomb. Cremation is a very old and quite common custom. For some people, the act of cremation exemplifies the belief of the Christian concept of "ashes to ashes".]citation needed[ Other modes of disposal include interment in a grave, or interment of the body in a sarcophagus, crypt, sepulchre, or ossuary, a mound or barrow, or a monumental surface structure such as a mausoleum (exemplified by the Taj Mahal) or a pyramid (as exemplified by the Great Pyramid of Giza).