Do you look petite with a parasol or formal with an umbrella?
- Umbrellas are typically handheld inventions used primarily to provide a portable way to protect the user from weather or provide shade.
- ‘Umbrellas’ are also known as ‘parasols’, and they are sometimes called ‘rainshades’, ‘sunshades’, ‘brollies’, ‘bumbershoots’, ‘gamps’ and ‘parapetuies’.
- The term ‘umbrella’ is used more often in referring to the item as a water shield, while the term ‘parasol’ is normally reserved for those used as a heat shield, although both terms are used loosely.
- ‘Umbrella’ comes from the Latin word ‘umbra’ which means shadow or shade, while ‘parasol’ is of Italian origin and combines the words ‘para’ and ‘sole’, which mean ‘to protect against’ and ‘sun’ respectively.
- The Middle Eastern ancient civilisation of Nineveh were possibly the first users of umbrellas, most likely used for shade purposes, and reserved only for the monarchy, however there is evidence of other ancient societies, including Egypt, Rome, Greece and India, producing their own versions.
- China has the earliest known record of a foldable umbrella, dating back to 21 AD, which was purposed for a carriage.
- Europeans began to use umbrellas to block rain in the 1700s, and they slowly replaced the cloak that was commonly used for that purpose.
- While China produced the first retractable umbrella, a modern version that weighed significantly less than others was designed in 1710 by Jean Marius, a merchant from France.
- Umbrellas are typically made of cotton, nylon, plastic or other synthetic materials, and historically silk or leaves were used.
- Umbrellas come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and sizes, although generally they have a domed top and a wire frame work attached to a handle that is straight or in the shape of a ‘J’.
History of Umbrella and Parasol, n.d, Umbrella History, http://www.umbrellahistory.net/
Do you look fashionable with a wallet?
- Wallets are items used primarily to hold items including, but not limited to, money, identification cards, credit cards, personal items and other types of cards.
- A ‘wallet’ is also known as a ‘notecase’ or a ‘billfold’, and it is also sometimes called a ‘purse’, although not all purses are described or classified as such.
- Wallets are typically small enough to fit in one’s pocket, but they do vary in size, and can often be folded.
- The term ‘wallet’ was first used in the 1300s, used to describe knapsacks and bags that often stored food, although the modern use of the term did not originate until the 1800s.
- Wallets are most often black or brown in colour, but vary, often depending on the gender targeted, and the materials used, and they can be decorated with images and patterns.
- Leather or other textile fabrics are the most commonly used material in wallets, although metal or other materials can be used.
- Wallets often have numerous slots or bands to organise items, and the pockets vary in size by country, due to different money sizes.
- Wallets can be easy targets for pickpockets, and to prevent this, they can be attached to garments using a strap or chain, or placed in a difficult to access pocket.
- Some wallets have particular purposes, like those used for travel documents, and some are designed to attach to one’s shoe, wrist or around one’s neck, so that hands can be kept free, especially when exercising.
- Wallets became particularly modernised and popular by the 1950s, with the introduction of credit cards.
Earmuffs: protect your ears from noise and cold.
- Earmuffs are a piece of equipment or clothing accessory, that covers the ears, that are used for either thermal or acoustic purposes.
- Earmuffs typically come as a pair of ear shields, pads or cups, connected by a curved strip that is usually made of metal or thermoplastic.
- ‘Earmuffs’ are also known as ‘ear protectors’ and ‘ear-mufflers’, and those used for acoustic purposes are also known as ‘ear defenders’ and ‘hearing protectors’ and are classified as ‘personal protective equipment’ (PPE).
- Thermal earmuffs are used to keep one’s ears warm, and are commonly used outdoors in cold climates.
- Depending on their designed use, earmuff pads are commonly made of fabric, foam or thermoplastic, or a combination of these materials.
- When sounds are too loud, acoustic earmuffs are used to protect the ears, and they should be used when sounds breach 85 decibels.
- Thermal earmuffs were invented in 1873 by American teenager Chester Greenwood, resident of Farmington in Maine in the United States, at 15 years of age, later receiving a patent for his improved invention in 1877, and by 1883 his company produced 30,000 a year and by 1936, 400,000 were being produced annually.
- Earmuffs are usually placed on top or around the back of a person’s head, like a headband.
- Acoustic earmuffs have different ratings, depending on the level of noise reduction they have when in use.
- Earmuffs come in a variety of colours and the pads come in a variety of shapes depending on their purpose and fashion.
Shoelaces are handy items for securing shoes.
- Shoelaces are lengths of cord used to fasten shoes or boots around feet, and are usually purchased in pairs.
- ‘Shoelaces’ are also known as ‘shoestrings’ and ‘bootlaces’, and they come in a wide variety of colours and decorative patterns.
- Shoelaces are typically woven through numerous holes, hooks or loops, most often in a criss-cross pattern, and tightened, to narrow the opening of the shoe over one’s foot.
- Shoelaces were originally made of leather, cotton or rope; while today, most laces are made of or include synthetic fibres.
- Shoelaces end with a sheath called an aglet, that is typically made of brass, plastic or copper, that enables ease of threading through the holes in the shoe.
- To complete securing, shoelaces are usually finished with a shoelace knot or a bow knot.
- Shoelaces range from 45 to 200 centimetres (18 to 79 inches) in length, and the lengths generally vary according to the quantity of holes in the shoe.
- Shoelaces have been used as early as 4000 to 3000 BC, to tie leather around one’s foot.
- There are accessories available for shoelaces, typically a decorative metal or plastic tab that is threaded onto a lace, and is known as a ‘shoelace charm’.
- Shoelaces are sometimes elasticised so that the shoe is easily slid off one’s foot without untying or loosening the laces.
Shoelace, 2014, Know How, http://www.madehow.com/Volume-6/Shoelace.html
Shoelace, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoelaces
Are you sick of the lint? Try a lint remover!
- Lint removers are objects that when rolled or brushed on fabric, remove lint and other foreign fibres.
- A type of lint remover, a lint roller, features a handle and a small barrel usually coated with sticky adhesive, that is rolled over fabric to remove lint and other fibres, and is disposable or is able to be refilled with more sticky adhesive.
- Prior to especially designed lint removers, clothes brushes were used to clean and remove lint from clothes.
- A lint brush, a type of lint remover that lasts a long time, is a cushioned brush covered in fibrous material that collects lint and other fibres and sometimes they have a swivel head so that the brush can be used in either direction.
- Lint removers are common items among pet owners, since the remover easily collects fur or dead skin off pets.
- It is commonly believed that Nicholas McKay from the United States invented the first lint remover in 1956, however, there are number of patents filed years earlier for lint rollers and brushes, most notably Charles F Slater and Homer T Clark, who both filed patents in the US for lint rollers in January 1944.
- Different types of lint removers are suited to different materials as some may cause damage or wear to the fabric.
- Lint should be cleaned or removed from lint removers regularly to avoid lint being put back onto the fabric.
- Lint removers are best used by lightly, rather than firmly, brushing or rolling.
- Lint removers are commonly used by those that regularly wear black suits or other dark formal clothes, as lint can easily be seen on dark fabrics.
Lint Brushes, 2010, Lint Brush Online, http://www.lintbrushonline.com/lint-brushes/
Nicholas McKay (inventor), 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_McKay_(inventor)
What is a lint brush?, 2013, Wise-GEEK, http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-lint-brush.htm