In World 40, clothing has evolved in a way that is ‘biocontinuous’ with animalistic fur shedding, preening, and moulting etc. The origin of this culture can be traced to a juncture in human evolution in the pre-historic world on the landmass of the African continent.
Weaving and plaiting ‘technologies’ using hair and other fibrous materials are integrated with the body; in effect, the composition of body contours, textures and hair become the proto-warp. And so, body coverings or clothing are individually adaptable based on temporal factors and life stages. Clothing practices in this world promote everyday sensuality and new paradigms of consumption, disposal and self expression deeply connected to the physical and developmental.
What if …
fabric making (in evolutionary terms) was located on and integrated with the body and had never been externalised onto devices such as looms or frames?
consumption based on needs; body positivity; sensuality and self expression
Climate, Clothing, and Agriculture in Prehistory Linking Evidence, Causes, and Effects by Ian Gilligan (2018) and Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri (2019)
This World was contributed by Elaine Igoe (located by the south coast of England, UK) using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the author and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.
Does this World remind you of something?
I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.
Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!