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18th Century and the Industrial Revolution (1700 – 1840)

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, people created and tailored their own clothes. Quality and long-term wear trumped quantity and short-term trends because clothing production was time consuming.

  • John Kay’s invention of the Flying Shuttle in 1733 (p.114) and the invention of the spinning jenny, a multi-spindle spinning frame, in 1764 propelled the textile industry into the Industrial Revolution (Tortora & Eicher, 2015).

  • The invention of the steam machine to produce cotton increased productivity in the 18th century, and cotton production became a manufacturing business (Bruland & Smith, 2013).

  • Samuel Crompton invented the spinning mule in 1779, which enabled large-scale manufacturing of higher-quality thread (Catling, 2013)

  • Women gained access to a variety of fashion magazines published in influential European cities, such as Paris and London, after 1782 (Tortora & Eicher, 2015). French publication, le mercure gallant, was the earliest magazine to take notice of fashion.

    • With the rise in the identification of French and English styles in the media, you can observe the beginnings of the influence of reputation and the prediction of the diffusion of trends. More readers trusted styles endorsed by these countries.

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