The Evolution of Fabrics in Lingerie

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It seems like year after year, new developments in lingerie emerge, making it more comfortable, durable, and convenient for various lifestyles. This is thanks to technology that allows designers to manipulate and create new fabric combinations. On #ShopNTL, you can find a range of lingerie in the most simple or most innovative fabric combinations that serve functions such as comfort, seamlessness, drying, and much more. But when lingerie first came to the forefront, materials were sparse compared to today. We’re taking a trip down memory lane to see how fabrics used in lingerie has changed over the years.

A medieval set of lingerie made of linen via History Extra

A medieval set of lingerie made of linen via History Extra

The first lingerie that can be traced back was made out of linen. Linen was very thick and warm back then, and so it wasn’t necessarily the most comfortable, but the only option at the time. However, lingerie was purely functional in its origin and wasn’t created to be something beautiful as it is now. It was meant to warp the shape of a woman to conceal her womanliness. As the 1700s-1800s emerged, things changed and more fabrics were introduced into lingerie.

A staple in the 1800s included corsets. Image via Pinterest

A staple in the 1800s included corsets. Image via Pinterest

As design became more of a part of lingerie, more luxurious and delicate fabrics paved the way for some truly beautiful lingerie. Silks, satins, and laces were manipulated to create underthings that were a little bit more liberating for women. That being said, around this time corsets were also essentially a staple, with leathers and stiff fabrics getting in the way of daily comfort. Lingerie still wasn’t at the point of being as decorative as it is now, and function and hygiene were still key. That all changes as the 19th century approached and the bra is invented.

One of the ultimate luxury fabrics, satin, is the primary fabric of this vintage negligee via 18601960

One of the ultimate luxury fabrics, satin, is the primary fabric of this vintage negligee via 18601960

At this point, much of the lingerie at the time was made of ultra-luxe fabrics until nylon was introduced into the lingerie game. Women finally had a simple material that was stretchy, soft to the touch, and durable for their more active and liberated lifestyles. As time passed, man made fabrics began to dominate the lingerie industry to aid in mass production of affordable lingerie. That being said, satin, silk, and lace still have their place in lingerie and that will never change.

The Silk Double Moulded Underwire Bra by Eva Lingerie is made primarily of silk, with elastane for stretch

The Silk Double Moulded Underwire Bra by Eva Lingerie is made primarily of silk, with elastane for stretch

Currently, fabrics in lingerie have become so advanced that combinations have been made to mimic silk, lace, and satin, which tend to be more expensive. Women can have that rich feeling without the heavy price tag. Moreover, stretch fabrics such as spandex, lycra, polyester, and modal are commonly mixed in with other fabrics for easy movement and breathability. More often that not, current lingerie is made of fabric combinations so we can have it all; beauty, fancy accents and trims, stretch, seamlessness, and longevity. As some women have sensitivities to more complicated fabrics, cotton and bamboo are staples that stand up to moisture and activity but are also super soft and delicate against the skin.

The Modern Function Soft by Naturana Lingerie is a cotton bra with a touch of elastane for stretch

The Modern Function Soft by Naturana Lingerie is a cotton bra with a touch of elastane for stretch

What is your favourite fabric when it comes to lingerie; are you a lace girl, or is it cotton all the way? Let us know in the comments below! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates in lingerie, and follow our Pinterest for lovely lingerie inspiration. Finally, our YouTube videos have plenty of tips and tricks to further your lingerie education.

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