Hidden Histories of Human Hair in Global Fashion

Tarlo, Emma. 2016. Hidden Histories of Human Hair in Global Fashion. Textile, ISSN 1475-9756 [Article] (Forthcoming)

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Hidden Histories of Human Hair - final Utrecht Textiles 18.5.2016.docx - Accepted Version
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Abstract or Description

Human hair has long been valued as a fibre for its qualities of fineness, strength and elasticity. This article provides details of how hair from Asia has been used to produce textiles for the European and American markets at different moments of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It focusses in particular on the production of hand knotted hair nets made from Chinese combings and the making of interlinings for men’s suits made from waste hair clippings from India. It also gives insights into how comb waste is still collected and sorted by hand on a massive scale today in countries such as India, Myanmar and China using techniques which have changed little since the nineteenth century

Item Type:



hair nets, comb waste, recycling, Chinese hair workers, Indian hair collection

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



8 July 2016Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

21 Oct 2016 12:26

Last Modified:

03 Sep 2019 09:18

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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