How-To: Make The Earliest Known Trousers In Existence

Craft & Design Yarncraft
How-To: Make The Earliest Known Trousers In Existence


If you’ve been wondering how your crafting skills measure up to the work of ancient crafters, now you can find out by making your own version of these 3,000-year-old trousers. The wool trousers were found in a tomb in China and are believed to have been used for horse riding. Archeologists have studied the construction of the trousers and there is a detailed description of how they were made over on The History Blog:

It was the invention of the crotch that ushered in the era of the trousers. The crotch joins the legs together with the abdominal section and waist, converting the four pieces of the leggings-waistband-loincloth rig into a single garment. This design allowed riders to spread their legs as wide as they needed to while still protecting the inginual and pelvic areas.


Here’s a pattern that illustrates how archeologists hypothesize that the trousers were put together, just in case you’re inclined to take a crack at making your own pair of ancient riding trousers.

A new study published in Quaternary International found that the trousers are formed from three separately woven pieces: two straight-cut legs and a stepped cross-shaped crotch that covers the genitals from the front to the back. There are side slits in the waistband, and a remnant of string at the edges of the slits suggests the trousers were closed on both sides with drawstrings.

The seams on the inside of the legs and the edges where the crotch-piece is stitched to the legs are covered with a decorative braid. There’s also decoration woven into the fabric.


Apparently each piece in the pattern was woven specifically for the individual who would be wearing them, which just proves that DIY clothes can really be made to last.

[via Gizmodo]

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Artist, writer, and teacher who makes work about popular culture, technology, and traditional craft processes.

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