The First Textiles

          The development of textiles was an important invention for man. Textiles which dates back 30,000 years refer to woven cloth, bags, nets, basketry, string-making, cord impressions in pots, sandals or other objects created out of organic fibers. The oldest evidence of the use of textiles is from impressions left in burned clay or the presence of weaving-related tools such as awls, loom weights or spindle whorls.

Prehistoric Weaving Tool

            Preservation fragments of cloth or other textiles occur in extreme conditions of cold, wet or dry; when fibers come into contact with metals such as copper; or when textiles are preserved by accidental charring. 

          The  oldest example of textiles have been identified by archaeologists at the Dzudzuana Cave in Georgia. A handful of flax fibers was discovered that had been twisted, cut and even dyed a range of colors. The fibres were discovered preserved within layers of mud. The fibers were radiocarbon-dated to between 30,000-36,000 years ago. Archaeologists report in the journal Science that ancient humans probably used the plant fibres to carry tools, weave baskets or make garments. Some of the fibres are coloured and appear to have been dyed.  All of which improved the community’s survivability.    Rita Bay

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