The stone age

Celts had fascination for good clothing

'Celt' was a tribe who lived through the Stone Age. They lived up to the time of glory of Roman Empire. They had ruled the entire Europe for quite some time. It is believed that they actually originated from Europe. The descendants of this Celtsure are present even to this day in some parts of Europe and they practice the Celtic tradition.

Although they lived in the Stone Age, they had mastered certain techniques. As an old adage says, 'Necessity is the mother of invention'; it is true in the case of Celts also. They had to master these techniques for reason of survival. They were good in working on wood, building boats and ships, construction of houses, working on metals like bronze and steel, in preparing jewelry out of gold and silver etc. They had also full knowledge of calculation of days and month and the time. They had learnt the art of making of clothes. They had their own likes and dislikes in respect of clothes, its colors and they had a dress code as well. They were robust people and were valiant warriors.

Their clothing:

Historians believed that Celts were very much fascinated with bright colors. They had perhaps learnt the technology of weaving. It is believed that they had invented loom for weaving clothes. Perhaps they had a loom of the type of Warp weighted category. Historians say that working on this loom was laborious and it required more women to work with. Women were expert weavers and they were also helping the men folk in weaving. There were also smaller spindles by the name 'tape loom' and they were used for weaving small materials like ribbons, scarf etc. In essence, the Celts had thorough knowledge of the art of weaving. This shows that women were given the due opportunity in all walks of life. As a matter of fact, women were participants in many wars. There were women warriors in Celts army.

Use of Dyes:

Fascinating information one gets from historians is that Celts were knowledgeable about organic form of making dyes. Dyes were made from seaweeds, berries and other plants found in the forest areas. Making a dye requires a mordant. This is because it is the mordant which changes and produces the desired color. Presumably Celts were using copper or stale urine as a mordant. The art of preparing and dyeing the cloth was the exclusive domain of women. This work was done in the absence of men folk. This is because Celts had a belief that if it is done in the presence of men, it would bring misfortune. They also believed if dyeing is done in the presence of man, then dyeing process would be uneven. They would not take up dyeing work on all the days because they had the belief that this work should be done only on certain days of the week.

Dyers were healers also: Dyes were prepared out of natural products like plants, seaweeds etc. These natural products have many healing effects. Celts were aware of the healing effects of these natural products. So, a woman who prepares the dye was also a healer; she would prescribe appropriate dye as a medicine to cure the ailment.

They liked wool:

Another liking of Celt community was for wool. They shear the wool from the sheep, appropriately sort it and prepare it well to manufacture wool. They had even learnt the art of spinning the wool into cloth. Here also they were using appropriate technology to color the wool to their taste. Although this process required an intricate technology, they had the necessary expertise to accomplish it.

Celts imported Silk:

Celts were good businessmen also. They would buy Silk from Asian region. It was an item of gift for Celts. However, in course of time they started to import Silk from Europe on trade terms that is in exchange of cattle or gold coins. They would not waste the old silk cloth. They would reuse it by adopting the appropriate technology.

Use of leather and fur:

Leather was widely used in preparing partition walls in the house. It was also used to cover the metal shields which were used in by the warriors and to prepare some of the suits for the warrior. At the personal level, they had learnt the art of preparing jackets and caps using the leather. They were preparing leather shoes and were also using it in the manufacture of boats and ships. To harden the leather, they were boiling the raw leather or skin of the animal in wax so that it gets hardened. This technology is called 'Cuir Boulli' in Celts language. They were also experts in making leather belts and also in preparing fringes that were used in clothes. They had considered this to be difficult job. The technology used for manufacturing belts is called as 'Card weaving'.

Celts were spread over various parts of Europe and other neighboring regions. The passion for dress varied according to the region where they were settled. There were areas where Celts preferred baggy type trousers. But Celts staying in other area would prefer trousers which are not baggy. So, it all depended on the climatic condition of the area in which they lived. They were also making good designs on the cloth and such type of clothes were used by the noblemen. Leather was also used to decorate the house.

Celt women would wear long trousers covering the entire leg. But, Celt man would wear trouser up to the knee. This again depended on the place where they lived. Perhaps the climatic condition of the region influenced their dress code. Warriors had a different fascination and for them the uniform mattered much. Historians also say that Celts would take proper care of their dress, the washing and the cleanliness of the dress.

All these emphasize the Celts were experienced lot and they had full knowledge of the art of dress making. Celts have made meaningful contribution for the growth of their civilization.

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