Fascinating History. Postrel does a remarkable job of looking at the various people and technologies of making (primarily clothing) textiles throughout history and even into the future. She largely centers around the various types of entities involved in the work, from the source materials to the weavers to the sellers and a few other types, and shows how each contributed in some way to the overall history and to where we are now. Several tidbits I didn’t know, including just how much cotton yarn is in an average pair of jeans, and a few that sound plausible, but which I’d need to research a bit more (such as claims about textiles being an early form of computing). At least one passage in particular actually brought to mind the James McAvoy / Angelina Jolie / Morgan Freeman movie Wanted, where looms and weaving play a central part in the mythos. Very much recommended.
This review of Fabric of Civilization by Virginia Postrel was originally written on July 26, 2020.