The history of materials is as old as human history. From the dried animal hides of the past, to today’s engineered, innovative materials, they have certainly come a long way. Humans have always sought the best possible materials, whether it was the silk created in China in 2,800 BC, used for clothing, canvas and even paper, or the introduction of cotton and wool in the first century AD to bring clothing to the masses.
A revolutionary development in the evolution of fabric happened in 19th century France: the invention of the world’s first synthetic fibres; rayon, nylon and polyester. The industry realised that materials aren’t limited to the properties they have when first discovered – they can be strengthened, improved, and engineered to be the best possible material.