Human being is the only animal known to wear cloths. The use of textile material for apparel wear by primitive man originated in prehistoric times, probably started in Palaeolithic era, has evolved from mere protection from climatic conditions, providing comfort and maintaining decency to the modern day fashions.

The primitive man initially used material available in nature - animal hides and plant leaves for clothing, to cover and drape his body and gradually developed textile garments made from the natural resources like plant fibres cotton, jute, flax, etc. and from animal hair wool and silk. With the industrial revolution of the 20th century development of various manmade fibres including synthetic substrates evolved, however, even then almost half of the textile clothing material used worldwide comes from natural fibres.

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Ashok Athalye is the General Manager, Technical Service Division at Atul Ltd.