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World History - The Industrial Revolution: Fast Fashion

From the World Book Online

Factory-made clothing. The ways in which people made clothing began to change with the Industrial Revolution, a period of rapid industrialization that started in the 1700's. Machines began to replace the hand labor that for thousands of years had been necessary for clothing production. For example, the spinning wheel, which developed by at least the A.D. 1000’s, made it possible for a worker to efficiently spin several threads into one strand of yarn. James Hargreaves, an English weaver, invented the spinning jenny in about 1764. It had eight spindles and so could spin many threads into eight strands of yarn at the same time. A later improved version could produce 16 strands of yarn at the same time. In 1779, the English weaver Samuel Crompton developed the spinning mule. Later versions of this machine produced high-quality yarn on hundreds of spindles at a time. In 1801, Joseph Marie Jacquard, a French weaver, introduced a loom for patterned weaving. The loom used cards with punched holes to determine the pattern.

Replacing hand work with work done by machine—a process calledmechanization—continued throughout the 1800’s and 1900’s. Technological development greatly changed clothing production. By the early 2000’s, a technician could push a button on a computer to begin production of a finished garment many miles or kilometers away.

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Source: Druesedow, Jean L., and Cory Willmott. "Clothing." World Book Student, World Book, 2017, Accessed 26 Nov. 2017.

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