This is one of the earliest forms of clothing recorded, as far back as 3,000 b.c. It started as a narrow band around the waist from which both decorative and magical pendants were hung. Ancient Egyptians wore woven material wrapped around the body several times and then tied at the front.
Loincloths were worn in Crete around 2,000 B.C. They were decorated with intricate patterns. Even today in tropical and sub tropical places the locals still wear loincloths.
Between 2105 B.C. and 1240 B.C. men in Babylonia and Mesopotamia wore loincloths as undergarments and women wore short skirts are underwear.
Around 200 A.D. the Romans wore undergarments. Both men and women wore loincloths similar to our modern briefs. The women also wore a breast band called a “mammilare”.
In 1850 Amelia Jenks Bloomer advocated a costume for women made up of a short jacket, a skirt extending below the knee and loose “Turkish” trousers, which were later referred to as “Bloomers”. This fashion never caught on, but the term “Bloomers” stuck and eventually became the name for loose, baggy underwear worn by women.
The term “underwear” did not come into use until 1879. No one is quite sure who first manufactured underwear but they do know that they were made of wool and would make a person itch.
It wasn’t until the 1920’s when the process of carbonizing wool came into being that underwear became comfortable to wear as the material was softer.
Eventually, as is the case today cotton became the main fabric used in underwear.