Learning the History of Clothes Storage Through the Ages

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The types of clothing people wear have changed dramatically through the years. For example, they can already last for years. Summer clothing may already be good for three years even if you wear them regularly as long as they are of excellent material.

You also have plenty of ways to extend the lifespan of your dress. Besides washing them per the manufacturer’s instructions, you can also reduce the moisture levels inside closets. High levels of moisture can expand fibers. They can also increase the risk of bacterial growth, which leads to a musty smell.

Big UK homes are also likely to have walk-in closets or rooms. If you have one of these, you need a regular annual boiler check by specialists, particularly during winter. Heaters can keep moisture levels down.

But do you ever wonder how people before stored theirs? Perhaps it’s time to take a trip back to centuries ago.

The History of Clothes Storage

No one really knew the actual history of closets or even clothes storage, but according to the experts, this is how it went.

1. First, Came the Chest

Closets came much later in history. In fact, some people think that they weren’t around during the peak of the Middle Ages as they didn’t often appear on artworks within this period.

Most were also less likely to own a wardrobe. These were heavy ornate pieces that might not fit into the residents’ small homes at this time. Many even couldn’t afford to have one.

The people back then might have hung their clothing in pegs or hooks on the walls for air-drying. Women also wore pinafores, which can be either a plain or decorative apron or garment attached to the dress.

Although the design became a showcase of the status of the wearer, one of the primary functions of pinafores was to protect the dress. This way, they could wear the same clothes the next day. Thus, they could worry less about how to store them for later.

2. Then, the Wardrobe Came Along

As people acquired more possessions, they needed more space to protect or store them. It then eventually gave birth to the wardrobe.

By its original French definition, a wardrobe is a furniture piece that protects clothing or garments. It may also include drawers and mirrors. During the course of the Medieval Ages, these cabinets featured beautifully designed artworks or carvings.

By the seventeenth century, this furniture piece became a fixture in bedrooms where they were attached to the room’s paneling.

rack of clothes

Back then, though, only the rich could afford an item of furniture like this. For one, the poor couldn’t buy plenty of clothes or owned a lot of possessions. That all changed in the nineteenth century.

The Industrial Revolution began in the 1700s, and during this time, assembly lines became the norm. Businesses, therefore, could already mass-produce goods, whether they were clothing or furniture. In turn, the costs of items declined, that more people could already buy them.

Fashion also changed. In the nineteenth century, at the height of the Victorian Era, wealthy women seemed to wear “simpler clothes” than those who lived during the Medieval Ages. However, they still donned plenty of pieces, such as corsets, sleeves, petticoats, and silhouettes.

Some of these garments needed to be hung, while others had to be laid flat for storage. For this reason, the wardrobe of the early days usually included at least two compartments.

3. Lastly, the Closet

To understand the history of the closet is to go back to the Middle Ages. The majority lived in small houses. Some might have a single bedroom, but most might be using only one space for everything. In other words, they dined, entertained, and slept in the same place.

Privacy then became a major issue. Thus, when the country slowly prospered, and more people could afford bigger properties, they built “rooms” where they could be alone. Thus, the closets were born.

Before they became storage for clothing, shoes, and accessories, these closets were rooms for prayers, reading, and other activities that one wants to do alone or away from prying eyes.

As houses further expanded, homeowners could now separate homes into rooms, where they could enjoy some privacy. The purpose of the closets then became solely to store possessions, treasures, and clothes.

Simply put, the history of storing clothes is a reflection of a specific time. People made do of what they had. But regardless of what point in history you’re looking into, one thing remains the same throughout the ages: people know how to value clothes.

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