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by Archaeology Newsroom

Textile Industry in the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

The technology of textile industry was formed almost parallel with the industrial revolution. It was the textile industry that sometimes caused the rapid changes that the industrial revolution brought about, while others drew power from the latter. Until then the textile industry was a mere activity, mainly of handicraft expression in its original phase and of applied art in its final stage, where the combinations of colour and the design were playing an important role in the final appearance of the textile product. With the evolution of technology, this artistic character was limited to the designing procedure and was almost effaced from the production level. On the contrary, the systematization of knowledge was strengthened and expressed through machinery and procedure designing in an industrial scale. The end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century signal the conclusion of this long transition. Through continuous efforts the technology of textile industry obtains a form, which will become a point of reference for the years to come. A technological substratum is thus created, that makes the technological evolution possible. Relevant improvements will be continuous created, they will be many and important, but not radical and subversive. The next landmark will be set in the field of materials, and a new era will begin with the invasion of electronics in the textile industry procedures. The examination of the early twentieth-century textile industry technology in this framework offers the opportunity not only to review the course made so far, but also to explore the horizons ahead. Thus, it is possible to follow the progress from the older handicraft stage to the industrial production and, at the same time, to the formation of the needs, which will lead the developments in the near future. All this long evolutionary route of the technology of textile industry is also a reference to the incomparable human effort for covering the need of dressing and, at the same time, a monument of the continuous endeavour of the engineers, designers and makers, of all these modern media of the Promethean spirit.