What Kind of Clothing Did Neolithic People Wear?


Neolithic people wore handmade cloaks, shoes and head-dressings. During the Neolithic transition, when a large portion of the population settled in sedentary farming communities, advances in textiles, tooling and resources allowed for better quality clothing to be made.

Furs and non-cured hides were among the most popular materials used to make clothing during the Neolithic Age. Furs required the least amount of processing, as they were pinned together with bone fasteners, rather than stitched. They were also the best material to provide protection to the body during harsh, cold winter months.

With the surplus production in agriculture following the transition to sedentary life, cultivators began trading their harvest of flax, cotton, wool and goat hair for specialized services like weaving, making textiles abundantly available. Each household began to weave its own clothing. Some weavers with specialized skills began to manufacture excess clothing for trade of grains, milk and meat. Specialized weavers produced clothing with stitched patterns, dyed textiles and scraped hides.

As the Neolithic transition progressed, people began paying closer attention to their appearance. In addition to better quality clothes, people began enhancing their looks with jewelry and makeup. Women rubbed hematite on their cheeks and lips to create a reddish glow. Seashells and string were used by both men and women to create bracelets, headpieces and necklaces with which they could adorn their cloaks.