Industrial Revolution Fashion
History 112: Origins of the Modern World
April 17, 2013
Debates are still raised about whether or not the positive outcomes of the Industrial Revolution were worth the struggles faced during the time period. Fashion reflects its time period; therefore, by looking at the fashion of a time one can understand the motives, lifestyles, and productivity of the time period. By analyzing the fashion industry as a whole from 1780-1860—trends, trades, and machinery—the importance of the Industrial Revolution can be seen. Not only did the Industrial Revolution bring a renaissance for fashion, but fashion also impacted the people, events, and inventions of the time period. This revolution broke the boundaries of production and led to limitless manufacturing opportunities of goods and services. Of course— as with any other time of novelty, expansion, and growth— there were periods of obstacle and struggle, but the gains that the industrial revolution brought to society are much more profound. The relationship between the Industrial Revolution and fashion can be seen through many different aspects of the period including: the interests or tastes of the people, trade and trade policies, and the machinery and techniques of the trade. A close analysis of the industrial revolution from a fashion perspective reveals the transformations and advancements of not only production but also of lifestyle during the time and illuminates the overall achievement of the Industrial Revolution. The industrial revolution was a time of invention, productivity, and innovation; likewise the clothing during the time was redefined, was more intricately designed, and was seeing the beginnings of mass production. An American visiting Great Britain around 1810 said, “We have seen carding and spinningmills, weavingmills, mills for everything. The human hand and human intelligence are not separated.” The first industry to be revolutionized was
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