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Wool and Clothing

If we look back at the history of clothing, it's clear that wool has played a vital role. Today, many of us choose to wear woollen products, although it's undoubtedly the case that the use of wool in clothing has been dropping over the past thirty years or so.

In some senses, our clothes can seem like relatively simple items. Yet it's clear that they mean an immense amount to us.

The role of clothing differs from one civilisation to the next, but many of us rely on clothes for warmth and for comfort. This has been the case for centuries.

Clothes can also indicate a role within an organisation or a society. This is possibly most obvious in the case of uniforms, where the design of garments may point to an individual's relative importance, or to their rank within an organisation.

Such changes in design might also reflect differentiation on a wider scale. We might, for example, expect a member of a European royal family to dress somewhat different to a car mechanic or a shop assistant.

The third important role of clothing is in allowing us all to make a statement. This is really what fashion is all about.

The statement that we make through our clothing might be that we wish to follow the popular trends of the time. Alternatively, we can use what we wear to specifically indicate that we feel different to others, or to make it clear that we wish to be treated differently.

Looking at the roles of clothing in society, it's clear that many of the key features have been evident for hundreds of years.

It's certainly the case that woollen garments were used during the Roman era for precisely the same reasons that we choose such items today.

Thinking about our historyScience Articles, it's amazing to think that we share so much with our ancestors.

It's clear that woollen clothing is one of many items that are as familiar today as they would have been at the height of the Roman Empire.

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An alternative to sheep's wool is possum wool, as Keith Barrett found out. This article may be published on any website but this resource box must be included in full. The author retains all copyright.

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