The preservation of fabric fibers and leathers allows for insights into the attire of ancient societies. The clothing used in the ancient worldreflects the technologies that these peoples mastered. In many cultures, clothing indicated the social status of various members of society.
The development of attire and fashion is an exclusively human characteristic and is a feature of most human societies. Clothing made of materials such as animal skins and vegetation was initially used by early humans to protect their bodies from the elements. The usage of clothing and textiles across the ages reflects the varying development of civilizations and technologies. Sources available for the study of clothing and textiles include material remains discovered via archaeology; representation of textiles and their manufacture in art; and documents concerning the manufacture, acquisition, use, and trade of fabrics, tools, and finished garments.