When Did Humans Start Wearing Clothes?

When Did Humans Start Wearing Clothes?

When People Started Wearing Clothes Determining exactly when humans began wearing
clothes is a challenge, largely because early clothes would have been things like animal
hides, which degrade rapidly. Therefore, there’s very little archaeological evidence that can
be used to determine the date that clothing started being worn.
There have been several different theories based on what archaeologists have been able
to find. For instance, based on genetic skin-coloration research, humans lost body hair around one
million years ago—an ideal time to start wearing clothes for warmth. The first tools
used to scrape hides date back to 780,000 years ago, but animal hides served other uses,
such as providing shelter, and it’s thought that those tools were used to prepare hides
for that, rather than clothing. Eyed needles started appearing around 40,000 years ago,
but those tools point to more complex clothing, meaning clothes had probably already been
around for a while. All that being said, scientists have started
gathering alternative data that might help solve the mystery of when we humans started
covering our bits. A recent University of Florida study concluded
that humans started wearing clothes some 170,000 years ago, lining up with the end of the second-to-last
ice age. How did they figure that date out? By studying the evolution of lice.
Scientists observed that clothing lice are, well, extremely well-adapted to clothing.
They hypothesized that body lice must have evolved to live in clothing, which meant that
they weren’t around before humans started wearing clothes. The study used DNA sequencing
of lice to calculate when clothing lice started to genetically split from head lice.
The findings of the study are significant because they show that clothes appeared some
70,000 years before humans started to migrate north from Africa into cooler climates. The
invention of clothing was probably one factor that made migration possible.
This timing also makes sense due to known climate factors in that era. As Ian Gilligan,
a lecturer at the Australian National University, said that the study gave “an unexpectedly
early date for clothing, much earlier than the earliest solid archaeological evidence,
but it makes sense. It means modern humans probably started wearing clothes on a regular
basis to keep warm when they were first exposed to Ice Age conditions.”
As to when humans moved on from animal hides and into textiles, the first fabric is thought
to have been an early ancestor of felt. From there, early humans took up weaving some 27,000
years ago, based on impressions of baskets and textiles on clay. Around 25,000 years
ago, the first Venus figurines—little statues of women—appeared wearing a variety of different
clothes that pointed to weaving technology being in place by this time.
From there, more recent ancient civilizations discovered many materials they could fashion
into clothing. For instance, Ancient Egyptians produced linen around 5500 BC, while the Chinese
likely started producing silk around 4000 B.C.
As for clothing for fashion, instead of just keeping warm, it is thought that this occurred
relatively early on. The first example of dyed flax fibers were found in a cave in the
Republic of Georgia and date back to 36,000 years ago. That being said, while they may
have added colour, early clothes seem to have been much simpler than the clothing we wear
today—mostly cloth draped over the shoulder and pinned at the waist.
Around the mid-1300s in certain regions of the world, with some technological advances
in previous century, clothing fashion began to change drastically from what it was before.
For instance, clothing started to be made to form fit the human body, with curved seams,
laces, and buttons. Contrasting colours and fabrics also became popular in England. From
this time, fashion in the West began to change at an alarming rate, largely based on aesthetics,
whereas in other cultures fashion typically changed only with great political upheaval,
meaning changes came more slowly in most other cultures.
The Industrial Revolution, of course, had a huge impact on the clothing industry. Clothes
could now be made en mass in factories rather than just in the home and could be transported
from factory to market in record time. As a result, clothes became drastically cheaper,
leading to people having significantly larger wardrobes and contributing to the constant
change in fashion that we still
see today.

52 Replies to “When Did Humans Start Wearing Clothes?”

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  3. Genesis 3:20-21

    And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. [21] Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

  4. There are still people (usually Amazon Natives) who still don't wear what we would consider clothes. However most still do have some kind of body decoration they would not go out without.  I wonder if clothes developed first as decoration rather than for warmth. Humans don't like to consider themselves as animals and one of the best ways to separate yourself from animals is to attach something to your body, even if that something is nothing more that a leather string tied around the waist.

  5. the first clothes were worn by Adam and Eve. because they became embarrassed by their naked bodies when they disobeyed God.

    It makes perfect sense on why only humans wear clothes.

    what's the atheists explanation for this?

  6. why will be loose the hair on our bodies just to start wearing clothes it doesn't seem the way evolution is supposed to work why wouldn't we just keep the fur

  7. It is now thought that the Neanderthals wore animal skins as clothing pre-dating Homo Sapiens. It is not known if Homo Erectus, the predecessor of Neanderthalis, had clothing after their migration out of Africa but also we do not know how hairy their skins were.

  8. My firm opinion here.(my mind's made up, don't confuse me with the facts)Clothing is an invention of man. (not woman)My reasoning? So man could hide his woman from other men.(so to speak) However this is only the second reason man invented clothing, the first reason being so that he could hide his own…… "shortcomings".

  9. Actually clothing came about 6,000 years ago when God provided animal skins to clothe Adam and Eve after they ate the Forbidden Fruit.

  10. It started with Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the fruit which opened their eyes, and realizing they were nude. They were so embarrassed they just had to do something. So they sowed together some leaves from a poison ivy leaves together to hide their parts and hid in the weeds.

  11. I recall in my college anthropology class that there was evidence that homo erectus had 2 qualities of what most people consider human, making fire and producing clothes. I do believe that at that time (2010) it was a controversial idea. If this is in fact true then that would mean that humans inherited cloth making by our hominid ancestors.

  12. Why are humans getting less hairy? I'm a biologist but can't think of a good explanation as to why we are one of the very few naked mammals.

  13. mmm, if they found eyed needles from that long ago, we were probably wearing hides earlier than that date IMO. Only using hide for shelter is a ridiculous idea since animal hide is not needed at all to make a waterproof shelter. I'd even bet that using hides on shelters came after wearing them on the body (after using them as blankets & to sleep on.)

  14. Body hair loss wouldn't be the cause of clothes I would Imagine. I would think that they would have developed something like a big cloak to keep them warm when they were cold, then body hair became unimportant for survival because you don't need it to keep you warm, so people started to lose it over a couple generations. I agree with the other commenter that I am more interested in when people started wearing clothes for modesty rather than for comfort and warmth.

  15. A transcript of the invention of clothing. ..
    Jim, JIM! what the f*ck are you doing to that boar?!

  16. Speaking of wearing clothes, is it true that you can avoid a baggage fee at the airport by wearing you whole trip's worth of clothes at once?

  17. If humans started wearing clothing some 140,000 years ago, how did the Neanderthals survive some 300,000 years through several ice ages in Europe? Perhaps they had clothing before humans?

  18. Can't some animals get lice? or is it only specific kind of lice that animals can get? or can they not get lice at all? I swore u had heard it several times in the past.

  19. >be me
    >be bored
    >play with my food, wear my kill
    >day becomes cold
    >realize i am warm
    >play with other materials to see if its the same effect

    tfw i invented fashion

  20. white people i hate you…… lice ,,, fucking lice… how if black people where here first for thousands of years and black people dont even get lice. smh i fucking hate white people and there history claiming ,,, wtf

  21. it's obvious from every observatory of any kind pointed at this subject, be it the Fossil record, ancient drawings and history of man kind, the ONLY , ONLY reason why Humans wear clothes is to cover their genitals, which is fucked up because science can't find a reasonable explanation for that, but everything screams, that it's the case, even in the most anient drawings and even in the now-existing primitive humans who never evolved . clothes , if there if the person is wearing any, will be mainly covering the genitals, vagina and penis ,interestingly there isn't as much attention paid to the butt and the woman's breast, also interestingly puzzling.

  22. Humans started to wear clothes when Eve told Adam to keep "it" inside his pants. It was pointless remark before its invention.

  23. Just think, if humans didn't discover clothing, the fashion industry would have been non-existent & humans would have evolved & grown fur….

  24. Hold on, wouldn't cloths lice be adapted to living in a woven cloth? What's the real difference between a man wearing skins and the actual animal just keeping it's skin.

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