The Evolution of Revolution Fabrics
By Todd Lavender
Woven fabrics date back to the late stone age in the Middle East region. From these earliest textiles to present day, the way fabrics are woven has continually evolved, and has also influenced how people clothed themselves, carried possessions, and decorated their surroundings.
The earliest sewing needles date to as much as 50,000 years ago, and the earliest dyed flax fibers date back to 36,000 years ago. Many early statues and cave paintings show figures clothed in fiber skirts and can be dated to approximately 25,000 years ago. In a cave in the South American country of Peru, a fabric woven out of vegetable fibers has been dated back to 8,000 BC.
Fast forward some 8500 years. During the middle ages, the European elite imported silk cloth from the Byzantine and Muslim worlds, and also imported cotton. They could afford bleached linen and simply patterned wool woven and dyed within European boundaries. Lower classes wore local or homespun wool trimmed with bands of decoration, various embroidery, tablet-woven bands, or colorful borders woven into the fabric in the loom.
During the industrial revolution of the mid to late 1800s, fabric production was mechanized with machines powered by waterwheels and steam-engines. Production shifted from small cottage based outfits to mass production based on assembly line models. By the early 1900s, importance began to be placed on properties such as increased strength, elasticity, or durability of woven goods. By the 1960s, finishing of fabrics became the standard. These finishes enabled the fabrics to resist stains, fire, wrinkles, and microbes. Major advances in woven fabrics spanned just a few decades from the 1930s to the 1970s. Synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, spandex, and kevlar emerged. Methods for dying synthetic fibers also were perfected.
Following these recent breakthroughs in woven textiles, Revolution Performance Fabrics continues to use the latest technology to produce their line of durable, yet soft to the touch performance fabrics. These fabrics are inherently stain resistant and any color can be cleaned with bleach. Finally, if the consumer is faced with trying to figure out how to remove tough stains from their fabrics such as blood, permanent marker, wine, or food, they can rest easy with Revolution Performance Fabrics. More recently, we have introduced Revolution Plus, a machine washable performance fabric often used for slipcovers. Our latest innovation is the implementation of outdoor fabrics utilizing yarns with UV protectant, numerous colors of woven performance fabrics with 2500 plus hours of lightfastness. Revolution Performance Fabrics is poised to be an innovator of woven goods well into the 21st century while carefully learning from the pioneers of our past.