How Fabric Designs Have Changed Through History

By | March 3, 2020

When it comes to fabrics and textile, they possess a rich history. It is considered an art and now fabric has evolved to a great extent. Some hundreds of years ago, during the Islamic period, fabric and textile making was considered to be a diverse art. There was a lot of trade carried out from the East to the West in which different kinds of fabrics were traded. Among these the most prominent were silk along with thread that was gold and silver wrapped.

The elite and the aristocracy considered fabric to be a significant part of representing their social status. During the seventeenth century, the Persians used to flaunt their social status with fabric as well. The best of all these was the shimmering woven silk that exuded a refinement no other fabric did. This fabric was represented the high class and the Merchants of Venice used to get this silk. Another fabric that the Europeans and Romans used to import was brocaded silk.

Historical narrations show that about two thousand years ago, gold and silver laces were used in pieces of clothes for design purposes. This was the Sassanid cloth and it was the one that was able to attain the highest degree of artistic perfection. The three kinds of fabrics that were very popular worldwide centuries ago were simple fine silk, silken velvet and Brocade, which was also known as gold silk.

Different parts of the world were popular for having expertise in different kinds of fabric. Fabric weaving was practiced as an art in Turkey. The Turkish were popular for making fabric with embroidery, hand painting as well as block printing. During different periods, the many Turkish cities were known for making the world’s finest silk, velvet, woollen fabric and cotton. These fabrics were also a significant part of the sultans.

The Chinese were popular for making fabrics like silk knit and brocade. They were known for their unique patterns and designs that they made on these fabrics. In these times, all kinds of fabrics were hand woven.


Indian fabrics were also greatly popular and were very diverse as well as rich in their material and colours. The origin of these textiles dates back to the Indus Valley civilisation. This was the time when people used cotton that was homespun.

Cotton and silk were the main fabrics used and also exported to Europe and the Far East. Up until this time, the most common types of fabric available were silk and its variations, brocade and its varieties and cotton. There used to be simple brocade and also that which used gold and silver thread. In every era in the past, the basic fabrics have somewhat remained the same. However, there have been variations in their types and colour as well as the motifs and designs of these fabrics.

When we look at the modern times, fabric has undergone many changes, in both material, motifs and designs. Now there are hundreds of different fabrics available including both pure as well as synthetic ones.