From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, explore the global history of textiles and the world they weave together in this enthralling and educational guide. The story of humanity is the story of textiles – as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture. Virginia Postrel synthesises groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code. Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, ‘The Fabric of Civilization’ tells the story of the world’s most influential commodity.