To get a perfectly clear understanding of the various textiles it would be necessary to study the history of race development, in order to become acquainted with the different kinds of materials which have been used for clothing from the early savage periods to the modern day. Mankind has always relied upon the animal and vegetable kingdom for his existence; this is particularly true in the matter of food and clothing.
Before the days of civilization, savages clothed themselves with the untanned hides of animals decorated with shells, stones and beads. These hides of animals were very satisfactory protection against the elements, and were sufficiently beautiful to meet every requirement of savage taste. With the improvement of the race a desire for more artistic clothing arose, and mankind continued to look to his surroundings to supply the needed materials.
It would be impossible to trace the various stages of development which led up to the intricate system of manufacturing now employed in producing wearing apparel, but as man began to acquire some ingenuity and skill, he devised methods of making crude clothing from different fibers. These arts have been improved from time to time, and while a few new sources have been employed in the production of textiles, yet, for the most part, our clothing still comes either from the animal or the vegetable kingdom.
The art of spinning dates back to the very earliest periods of history, in fact, a legend among ancient people traces this important art to the Goddesses themselves. When the art was first practiced by man he turned to the plant kingdom for fibers that would be suitable to spin into yarn. He also employed fibers from the animal kingdom for a like purpose, but the spun thread did not meet all of his clothing requirements, so necessity lead the way for the introduction of weaving. This art was also begun at a very early period, and so successfully have these twin arts developed, hand in hand, that they have formed the basis of modern textile manufacturing.