WHY WE WEAR CLOTHES. It sounds like a pretty basic question, but consider – except for your dog at Halloween, how many other animals wear clothes?
Why we wear clothes when other animals do not is one of the questions that occupy much of the study done by forensic psychologists and anthropologists who study the development of civilizations. In Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, food is at the top, then shelter and clothing come next. How that shelter and clothing developed is the beginning of the history of textiles.
Why we wear clothes is a basic explanation of why and how humans developed civilizations. We went from nomadic hunter/gatherers wearing the skins of the animals we killed and ate to settled colonies of raisers and harvesters. Domestication of fiber producing animals, such as sheep and goats, and domestication of dogs contributed to the explanation of why we wear clothes.
We figured out that we did not have to kill animals for their hides in order to be clothes; we could harvest their wool and fur to clothe ourselves, use their milk to nourish our bodies, and raise their young to continue to give us the fiber and milk. We could use the meat and hide after their young were producing the materials for our clothing and food.
Why we wear clothes is fundamental to the question of why we are human.
Interested in joining other textile junkies? Check out the Rocky Mountain Weavers Guild.