Cotton

Cotton is the most used fabric in the entire world. One reason is because it’s just super abundant. There is no shortage of cotton like anywhere, ever. Also, cotton is one of the most breathable fabrics making it ideal for everyday wear. You can find cotton hiding in unsuspecting places like in your favorite denim jacket or your child’s school uniform khaki pants.

So no one actually knows how old cotton really is (mainly because no one can even agree on how old the earth itself is) but scientists hanging out in Mexican caves have found some cotton pieces that seem to be at least seven thousand years old. We do know that in Pakistan cotton was being grown and woven into cloth as early as 3000 BC. Shortly after, Egyptians started wearing cotton clothing on a regular basis.

Fast forward to about 800 AD and you find Arab merchants traveling to Europe to sell their cotton clothing items. Then boom, several centuries later Christopher Columbus “finds” cotton in the Bahamas in 1492 and now the rest of the world finds out about it and thinks cotton is all that and a bag of chips. They were right.

Cotton wasn’t machine-spun until about 1730 in England. The industrial revolution of that area and the US invention of the cotton gin got us to where we see cotton today. The cotton gin was able to work ten times faster than what it would take to do things by hand. After the cotton gin, cotton went from about a $150,000 value to an over $8,000,000 value !

Today you’ll find a lot of research and sustainability efforts to keep cotton alive. It’s been a cash cow for so long that certain people are afraid that we’re going to completely milk it dry in the very near future. What do you think ? What’s your favorite fabric ? Let us know in the comments !

The First Fashion Designer

First things first, let’s discuss what it means to even be a fashion designer. According to Fibre2Fashion, “Fashion design is a form of art dedicated to the creation of clothing and other lifestyle accessories. Modern fashion design is divided into two basic categories: haute couture and ready-to-wear.”

So Haute Couture consists of customized and one of a kind pieces. Think runway and celebrity or special event ensembles ! Ready-to-wear fashion is what you go to Saks Fifth, (or Target if you’re like me) to pick up on the go.

Ready-to-wear can be further broken down into a couple other categories; designer and confection. So the first dude to do the things was Charles Frederick Worth. Up until he set up his early 19th-century version of a popup shop, people in Paris anonymously made and sold dresses and the standards were solely set by royalty.

After some time his House of Worth pop up shop became so poppin’ that the village residents were able to attach a face and a name to it. That was the beginning of the current tradition of having a designated designer of a “house”.

House of Worth was founded in1858 and specialized in Haute Couture. The shop stayed in the family up until 1952 and then closed for good in 1956. The brand itself was revived once more in 1999. The new Spring/Summer collection didn’t debut until 2010.

Fun Fact: The empress at the time appointed Worth as the official court designer. This increased the quality of his reputation and in turn, his overall success.

Below you can see three examples of House of Worths’ most famous designs. You can see how regal in nature they are and they have the air of France for sure. Vintage dresses can still be found in obscure corners of the internet for up to $50,000 on the price tag.

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