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First, here are three pieces of cloth made from natural fibres. It is not always easy to tell the substance of a material from a drawing. These three pieces are silk, wool and cotton, in that order, but would you have known that just by looking at the drawings?

A major clue is that silk is so soft that it never forms harsh or ugly folds. In fact, it always folds so nicely that even if it does not have the characteristic silky sheen, it is usually unmistakable.

The quality of wool is similar in some ways but it is a much more dense material. The folds tend to be more generous and thicker, and the texture is often chunkier.

The quality of wool is similar in some ways but it is a much more dense material. The folds tend to be more generous and thicker, and the texture is often chunkier.

With cotton, the look is smoother, with neither the surface reflection of silk nor the heavier texture of wool. It can also be starched and folded to a sharpness that neither wool nor silk can emulate. When cotton fabric is worn and crumpled, it shows much more than the other two.

Now, let us take a look at examples of costumes from the past, as well as some more familiar modern dress.

Here is someone in one of those draped forms of clothing that people wore when garments resembled - to our eyes - nothing more complex than a sheet. This is like a Roman toga, which winds around the body and fits where it touches.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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