Knitwear

Knitwear

The History

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Fur coat have been used frequently by men and women from the past to the present. Since ancient times, people have used fur coats to protect them from inclement weather and cold. In ancient times, especially hunters, believed that the animals they wore their fur gave them power. In other words, even if a need arises, the history of fur has a spiritual side.

While fur coat mens have become popular in recent years, fur coats for women have been the main actors in shaping women's fashion in centuries. Fur coat costume, fur coat with hood and fur jackets come out with brand new interpretations every year.

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Climate Conditions Gives Shape Fashion

The history of the fur coat is based on the Slavic race in Europe. The Russians, the Belarusians, the Poles, the Balkans and the Carpathians, especially in Northern Europe, live in mountainous areas. In these soils where very low temperatures and harsh winter climate prevails, a wide variety of fur clothing products are made to protect from cold weather.

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Croatian Currency is the Name of a Fur Animal
Slavic people specialized in fur coats and fur jackets for protection from the harsh cold weather. Especially in ancient times, fur was much more valuable than money. For example, the Croatian national currency, the Kuna, is an animal of the branch of marten and its fur is very valuable. Even the currency of this country gets its name from a precious fur animal. Therefore, the value of fur can be estimated in this country.

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Fur Coats were Used Instead of Money in Old Russia

In ancient Russia, even tax payments and product payments were made with fur. In fact, fur trade accounts for 20 percent of the Russian national treasury income. Until 1739, the Russian national treasure had accepted fox, beaver, sable and other types of fur. At that time, a certain number of fur hunters were secured in each region. Thus, furs could be collected in the national treasury. Over time, the demand for fur increased gradually. The most expensive ones were the furs of polar bears.

Fur Coats were an Indicator of Social Status

In ancient Egypt, fur coat was worn only by kings and monks in very special ceremonies. Similarly, in European societies in the past, fur coat was worn only by nobles and bourgeois. Fur coats, which were only worn by the ruling class in the past, were an indicator of social status.

European Royal Family Fur Clothing

In the 11th century, furs were frequently preferred by the European royal family. Mink, sable and chinchilla fur coats, fur capes and fur accessories were worn. In the 14th century, laws that allowed only nobles and bourgeois to wear fur were enacted.

Fur Coat Trends in The Victorian Period

In the 1800s, the demand for fur increased so much that fur farms were established. During the Victorian period, the inner parts of the men's coats were covered with fur and the outer parts were made of other materials. Women's coats of the skirt, wrist and collar parts of the fur was used.

Fur coats started to spread in 1950s

In the 1950s, many actors and actresses wore luxurious fur coats in films and private lives. Therefore, the prices of fur coat began to rise gradually. Following these developments, the designers started to create more casual looks with furs. Fur coats were produced short and fur jackets started to be worn during the day. In the 1960s, designers started to produce fake fur coats and accessories. Today, fur coat and pants, fur coat and dresses, fur coats and hats are worn together.

HISTORY OF KNITWEAR

Knitting is a process of making loops to form a fabric using a strand of wool or yarn. Weaving requires loom or larger tools which is harder than knitting. That's why knitting is more simple in the making which makes it more valuable for nomadic and non-agrarian people. The history shows that the knitting started in Middle East, spreaded to Europe by Mediterranean trade routes. From Europe to America due to European colonies.

The oldest knitwear products are socks from Egypt circa the 11th century CE. The socks were crafted using a fine gauge knitting technique with multi color. Some socks had shorter row heel that were knitted with purl stitch. By looking at all of these researches about knitwear, we can easily understand that knitting is even older than the archeological record currently proves.

,Before we started seeing knitted or crochet pieces, the closest appearance that resembles them is called Nålebinding. It is a technique of creating fabric by making a few loops with a single thread and needle. It is just like sewing. Some artifacts have a design very similar to knitting, for instance, 3rd to 5th century CE Romano-Egyptian toe-socks were made with Coptic stitch and it's one of the first examples of Nålebinding knitting.




KNITTING IN EUROPE IN HISTORY

Earliest knitwear was made by Muslims whom were hired by Spanish Christian royal families. The level of expertise in knitting can be seen in few pieces found in  tombs in the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, a royal monastery, near Burgos, Spain. In the tomb of Prince Fernando de la Cerda, who died in 1275, we can see some knitted gloves and cushion covers which shows these knitted items were prestigious belongings for royals to have. These cushion covers were made of silk and they were made with 20 stitches per inch which requires a high level of skill. These cushions were not only high in quality but they also had a narrative of patterns showing the family armory and they were scripted 'Baraca' in Arabic which translates to Blessings. Many other knit clothes and accessories those belong to 13th century, were discovered in Spanish cathedral treasuries.

KNITTING IN UNITED KINGDOM IN HISTORY

In 17th and 18th centuries, for Scottish people, knitting was a very important work. Especially for those who lived in Scottish Isles, they had their own technique called 'Fair Isle' which was used to create colorful patterns. Even though lots of pieces were created such as accessories, stockings, and socks, the sweaters called Gansey were extra important for local fishermen to be protected by harsh weather. The natural oils of the wool protected their skin under hard weather conditions while fishing.

KNITTING WITH TECHNOLOGY

Knitting became so popular throughout the centuries, finally the first knitting machine was invented in 1589 by an English called William Lee. The machine was simply imitated the hand movements of a knitter. The first machine created coarse fabric with 8 stitches per inch. Later on, machine was upgraded to create silk and wool by stitches went up 20 per inch. With the born of knitting machine, Nottingham became really big in producing knitted fabrics. Not only manufacturers started producing more fabric but they also started developing more knitting machines such as circular knitting machine.

KNITTING TO SUPPORT THE NATION

Knitting was a way of nation supporting patriots. Nations also knitted their own clothes to boycott foreign goods.

HOW KNITWEAR ENTERED FASHION WORLD

During 1920's, knitwear garments had an important role in fashion. Especially sweaters and pullovers were worn by men and women of all ages associated with sports and leisure such as cricket, tennis and golf. Coco Chanel is the first well known designer for using knits in her creations. During Great Depression, knitting was also popular not as a fashion item but as necessity for its cheaper cost rather than buying commercial products.

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