What were the Reasons for the Changes in Clothing Patterns and Materials in the Eighteenth Century?

Changes in clothing patterns and materials in the 18th century were made possible due to:

(i) Colonisation of most part of the world by Europe, e.g., British trade and later occupation of India made available cheap easy to maintain Indian Chintz and other materials within the reach of many Europeans.

(ii) End of Sumptuary laws and spread of democratic ideals of equality and liberty after the French Revolution ended aristocratic privileges in clothing. Differences in clothing between classes remained but these were dictated by economic factors and peoples tastes in use of materials and styles. Thus different classes developed their own culture of dress.


(iii) Colonisation made available cheap raw material and the industrial revolution especially in Britain resulted in mass production of cotton textiles. Cotton cloth became more accessible and affordable to a wider section of people in Europe.