Use of textiles

Textiles play an important role in our culture and have always been used in many different ways. Handicraft skills mean they provide the material for important everyday goods – first and foremost clothing – as well as for household items, decorative objects and luxury articles.

The archaeological context and specific characteristics of prehistoric fabrics can provide much information on what they would have been used for. Not all woven fabrics found in a prehistoric grave or in a mine were used as clothing. It is also possible to differentiate between the primary and secondary function of textiles. Primary function describes the use of new material for clothing, household items (e.g. blankets or cushions) or tools (e.g. to line the sheaths used to store swords). However, some materials (particularly those found in the mines) also show traces of being recycled and used for a different purpose – their secondary function.

(Groemer, K.)

(Bild: K. Grömer - NHM Wien)