$425 billion dollars is where the global textile and garment trade stands today.
Just like yarns woven or knitted together give us fabrics, textiles have weaved itself across centuries into a myriad of cultures, civilizations, geographies and contexts. An important part of our lives, the history of textiles dates back to almost 100,000 years to the later part of the Stone Age; in India, China and Egypt, around 5000 BC.
The famous Silk Road, established during the Han Dynasty in China approximately 114 BC saw the trade flourish. And with the coming of the Industrial Revolution, quality textiles soon became the staple for the masses.
Among the plant derivatives of textiles, cotton has played an integral role across geographies and markets.
With global cotton production being around 25 million tonnes annually, it accounts for 2.5 percent of the world’s arable land.
A soft, fluffy fibre, cotton can be dated back to the Indus Valley civilization, around 4000 BC, where it was believed to have been cultivated and spun. Derived from the Arabic word ‘qutn’, it grows in a rounded ball around the plant’s seeds, and has been used since ancient times. Infact, much has been written about this miracle fibre in the ancient texts of Rigveda around 600 BC. They were poems dedicated to this natural wonder, sung publicly.
When one thinks of cotton, ‘grounded’, ‘reliable’, ‘strong’, ‘versatile’, and ‘breathable’ come to mind. It is literally the ‘social, political and luxurious fabric’ of any society, the staple of not just the masses but also the fashion patrons. An accessory to fashion, furnishings, art, there is nothing that cotton can’t be a part of.
What makes this fabric so endearing are its very pliable qualities such as soft & natural, easy to handle and maintain, easy to sew and dye. And it comes in a wide range of qualities from the very soft and luxurious Sea Island, Egyptian Giza & Pima cotton famous among custom-shirt making circles, to the shorter stalpes used to make the rugged and durable corduroy, fashionable Denims, the chic Voile and Organdy, casual chinos and the list goes on. From smart casuals, business wear to custom evening dressing, cotton makes its presence felt everywhere.
That’s why cotton – this eternal fabric – is the fabric of choice for tailormade shirts at Vitruvien.