Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, the seeds of berries from certain Coffea species. The genus Coffea is native to tropical Africa and Madagascar, the Comoros, Réunion in the Indian Ocean. Coffee plants are now cultivated in over 70 countries in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, Indian subcontinent, Africa; the two most grown are C. arabica and C. robusta. Once ripe, coffee berries are picked and dried. Dried coffee seeds are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. Roasted beans are ground and brewed with near-boiling water to produce the beverage known as coffee. Coffee is darkly colored, bitter acidic and has a stimulating effect in humans due to its caffeine content, it is one of the most popular drinks in the world, it can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways. It is served hot, although iced coffee is a popular alternative. Clinical studies indicate that moderate coffee consumption is benign or mildly beneficial in healthy adults, with continuing research on whether long-term consumption lowers the risk of some diseases, although those long-term studies are of poor quality.
The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in modern-day Yemen in southern Arabia in the middle of the 15th century in Sufi shrines. It was here in Arabia that coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed in a similar way to how it is now prepared, but the coffee seeds had to be first exported from East Africa to Yemen, as the Coffea arabica plant is thought to have been indigenous to the former. The Yemenis began to cultivate the seed. By the 16th century, the drink had reached Persia and North Africa. From there, it spread to the rest of the world; as of 2016, Brazil was the leading grower of producing one-third of the world total. Coffee is a major export commodity, it is one of the most valuable commodities exported by developing countries. Green, unroasted coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world; some controversy has been associated with coffee cultivation and the way developed countries trade with developing nations, as well as the impact on the environment with regards to the clearing of land for coffee-growing and water use.
The markets for fair trade and organic coffee are expanding, notably in the USA. The word coffee appears to have derived from the name of the region where coffee beans were first used by a herder in the 6th or 9th century: kaffa derived from Kaffa Province, the name of the region in ancient Abyssinia; the word "coffee" entered the English language in 1582 via the Dutch koffie, borrowed from the Ottoman Turkish kahve, borrowed in turn from the Arabic qahwah. The Arabic word qahwah was traditionally held to refer to a type of wine whose etymology is given by Arab lexicographers as deriving from the verb qahiya, "to lack hunger", in reference to the drink's reputation as an appetite suppressant, it has been proposed that the source may be the Proto-Central Semitic root q-h-h meaning "dark". The term "coffee pot" dates from 1705; the expression "coffee break" was first attested in 1952. According to legend, ancestors of today's Oromo people in a region of Kaffa in Ethiopia were believed to have been the first to recognize the energizing effect of the coffee plant.
However, there is no direct evidence, found earlier than the 15th century indicating where in Africa coffee first grew or who among the native populations might have used it as a stimulant. The story of Kaldi, the 9th-century Ethiopian goatherd who discovered coffee when he noticed how excited his goats became after eating the beans from a coffee plant, did not appear in writing until 1671 and is apocryphal. Other accounts attribute the discovery of coffee to Sheikh Omar. According to an ancient chronicle, known for his ability to cure the sick through prayer, was once exiled from Mocha in Yemen to a desert cave near Ousab. Starving, Omar found them to be bitter, he tried roasting the seeds to improve the flavor. He tried boiling them to soften the seed, which resulted in a fragrant brown liquid. Upon drinking the liquid Omar was sustained for days; as stories of this "miracle drug" reached Mocha, Omar was made a saint. The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th century in the accounts of Ahmed al-Ghaffar in Yemen.
It was here in Arabia that coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed, in a similar way to how it is prepared now. Coffee was used by Sufi circles to stay awake for their religious rituals. Accounts differ on the origin of the coffee plant prior to its appearance in Yemen. From Ethiopia, coffee could have been introduced to Yemen via trade across the Red Sea. One account credits Muhammad Ibn Sa'd for bringing the beverage to Aden from the African coast. Other early accounts say Ali ben Omar of the Shadhili Sufi order was the first to introduce coffee to Arabia. According to al Shardi, Ali ben Omar may have encountered coffee during his stay with the Adal king Sadadin's companions in 1401. Famous 16th-century Islamic scholar Ibn Hajar al-Haytami notes in his
Fish are gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals that lack limbs with digits. They form a sister group to the tunicates. Included in this definition are the living hagfish and cartilaginous and bony fish as well as various extinct related groups. Tetrapods emerged within lobe-finned fishes, so cladistically they are fish as well. However, traditionally fish are rendered paraphyletic by excluding the tetrapods; because in this manner the term "fish" is defined negatively as a paraphyletic group, it is not considered a formal taxonomic grouping in systematic biology, unless it is used in the cladistic sense, including tetrapods. The traditional term pisces is considered a typological, but not a phylogenetic classification; the earliest organisms that can be classified as fish were soft-bodied chordates that first appeared during the Cambrian period. Although they lacked a true spine, they possessed notochords which allowed them to be more agile than their invertebrate counterparts. Fish would continue to evolve through the Paleozoic era.
Many fish of the Paleozoic developed external armor. The first fish with jaws appeared in the Silurian period, after which many became formidable marine predators rather than just the prey of arthropods. Most fish are ectothermic, allowing their body temperatures to vary as ambient temperatures change, though some of the large active swimmers like white shark and tuna can hold a higher core temperature. Fish can communicate in their underwater environments through the use of acoustic communication. Acoustic communication in fish involves the transmission of acoustic signals from one individual of a species to another; the production of sounds as a means of communication among fish is most used in the context of feeding, aggression or courtship behaviour. The sounds emitted by fish can vary depending on the stimulus involved, they can produce either stridulatory sounds by moving components of the skeletal system, or can produce non-stridulatory sounds by manipulating specialized organs such as the swimbladder.
Fish are abundant in most bodies of water. They can be found in nearly all aquatic environments, from high mountain streams to the abyssal and hadal depths of the deepest oceans, although no species has yet been documented in the deepest 25% of the ocean. With 33,600 described species, fish exhibit greater species diversity than any other group of vertebrates. Fish are an important resource for humans worldwide as food. Commercial and subsistence fishers hunt fish in wild fisheries or farm them in ponds or in cages in the ocean, they are caught by recreational fishers, kept as pets, raised by fishkeepers, exhibited in public aquaria. Fish have had a role in culture through the ages, serving as deities, religious symbols, as the subjects of art and movies. Fish do not represent a monophyletic group, therefore the "evolution of fish" is not studied as a single event. Early fish from the fossil record are represented by a group of small, armored fish known as ostracoderms. Jawless fish lineages are extinct.
An extant clade, the lampreys may approximate ancient pre-jawed fish. The first jaws are found in Placodermi fossils; the diversity of jawed vertebrates may indicate the evolutionary advantage of a jawed mouth. It is unclear if the advantage of a hinged jaw is greater biting force, improved respiration, or a combination of factors. Fish may have evolved from a creature similar to a coral-like sea squirt, whose larvae resemble primitive fish in important ways; the first ancestors of fish may have kept the larval form into adulthood, although the reverse is the case. Fish are a paraphyletic group: that is, any clade containing all fish contains the tetrapods, which are not fish. For this reason, groups such as the "Class Pisces" seen in older reference works are no longer used in formal classifications. Traditional classification divides fish into three extant classes, with extinct forms sometimes classified within the tree, sometimes as their own classes: Class Agnatha Subclass Cyclostomata Subclass Ostracodermi † Class Chondrichthyes Subclass Elasmobranchii Subclass Holocephali Class Placodermi † Class Acanthodii † Class Osteichthyes Subclass Actinopterygii Subclass Sarcopterygii The above scheme is the one most encountered in non-specialist and general works.
Many of the above groups are paraphyletic, in that they have given rise to successive groups: Agnathans are ancestral to Chondrichthyes, who again have given rise to Acanthodiians, the ancestors of Osteichthyes. With the arrival of phylogenetic nomenclature, the fishes has been split up into a more detailed scheme, with the following major groups: Class Myxini Class Pteraspidomorphi † Class Thelodonti † Class Anaspida † Class Petromyzontida or Hyperoartia Petromyzontidae Class Conodonta † Class Cephalaspidomorphi † Galeaspida † Pituriaspida † Osteostraci † Infraphylum Gnathostomata Class Placodermi † Class Chondrichthyes Class Acanthodii † Superclass Osteichthy
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
Manufacturing is the production of products for use or sale using labour and machines, tools and biological processing, or formulation. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most applied to industrial design, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale; such finished goods may be sold to other manufacturers for the production of other, more complex products, such as aircraft, household appliances, sports equipment or automobiles, or sold to wholesalers, who in turn sell them to retailers, who sell them to end users and consumers. Manufacturing engineering or manufacturing process are the steps through which raw materials are transformed into a final product; the manufacturing process begins with the product design, materials specification from which the product is made. These materials are modified through manufacturing processes to become the required part. Modern manufacturing includes all intermediate processes required in the production and integration of a product's components.
Some industries, such as semiconductor and steel manufacturers use the term fabrication instead. The manufacturing sector is connected with engineering and industrial design. Examples of major manufacturers in North America include General Motors Corporation, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, General Dynamics, Boeing and Precision Castparts. Examples in Europe include Volkswagen Siemens, FCA and Michelin. Examples in Asia include Toyota, Panasonic, LG, Samsung and Tata Motors. In its earliest form, manufacturing was carried out by a single skilled artisan with assistants. Training was by apprenticeship. In much of the pre-industrial world, the guild system protected the privileges and trade secrets of urban artisans. Before the Industrial Revolution, most manufacturing occurred in rural areas, where household-based manufacturing served as a supplemental subsistence strategy to agriculture. Entrepreneurs organized a number of manufacturing households into a single enterprise through the putting-out system.
Toll manufacturing is an arrangement whereby a first firm with specialized equipment processes raw materials or semi-finished goods for a second firm. Manufacturing Engineering Agile manufacturing American system of manufacturing British factory system of manufacturing Craft or guild system Fabrication Flexible manufacturing Just-in-time manufacturing Lean manufacturing Mass customization – 3D printing, design-your-own web sites for sneakers, fast fashion Mass production Ownership Packaging and labeling Prefabrication Putting-out system Rapid manufacturing Reconfigurable manufacturing system Soviet collectivism in manufacturing History of numerical control Emerging technologies have provided some new growth in advanced manufacturing employment opportunities in the Manufacturing Belt in the United States. Manufacturing provides important material support for national infrastructure and for national defense. On the other hand, most manufacturing may involve significant environmental costs; the clean-up costs of hazardous waste, for example, may outweigh the benefits of a product that creates it.
Hazardous materials may expose workers to health risks. These costs are now well known and there is effort to address them by improving efficiency, reducing waste, using industrial symbiosis, eliminating harmful chemicals; the negative costs of manufacturing can be addressed legally. Developed countries regulate manufacturing activity with environmental laws. Across the globe, manufacturers can be subject to regulations and pollution taxes to offset the environmental costs of manufacturing activities. Labor unions and craft guilds have played a historic role in the negotiation of worker rights and wages. Environment laws and labor protections that are available in developed nations may not be available in the third world. Tort law and product liability impose additional costs on manufacturing; these are significant dynamics in the ongoing process, occurring over the last few decades, of manufacture-based industries relocating operations to "developing-world" economies where the costs of production are lower than in "developed-world" economies.
Manufacturing has unique health and safety challenges and has been recognized by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as a priority industry sector in the National Occupational Research Agenda to identify and provide intervention strategies regarding occupational health and safety issues. Surveys and analyses of trends and issues in manufacturing and investment around the world focus on such things as: The nature and sources of the considerable variations that occur cross-nationally in levels of manufacturing and wider industrial-economic growth. In addition to general overviews, researchers have examined the features and factors affecting particular key aspects of manufacturing development, they have compared production and investment in a range of Western and non-Western countries and presented case studies of growth and performance in important individual industries and market-economic sectors. On June 26, 2009, Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, called for the United States to increase its manufacturing base employment to 20% of the workforce, commenting that the U.
S. has outsourced too much in some areas and can no longer rely on the financial sector and consumer spending to drive demand. Further, while U. S. manufacturing performs well compared to the rest of the U. S. economy, research shows that it performs poorly compared to manufacturing in other high-wage countries. A total of 3.2 million – one in six U. S. manuf
The cocoa bean or cocoa, called the cacao bean or cacao, is the dried and fermented seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter can be extracted. Cocoa beans are the basis of chocolate, Mesoamerican foods including tejate, a pre-Hispanic drink that includes maize; the word "cocoa" comes from the Spanish word cacao, derived from the Nahuatl word cacahuatl. The Nahuatl word, in turn derives from the reconstructed Proto Mije-Sokean word kakawa; the term cocoa means the drink, called hot cocoa or hot chocolate cocoa powder, the dry powder made by grinding cocoa seeds and removing the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids, which are dark and bitter a mixture of cocoa powder and cocoa butter – a primitive form of chocolate. The cacao tree is native to the Amazon Basin, it was domesticated by the Mocayas. More than 4,000 years ago, it was consumed by pre-Columbian cultures along the Yucatán, including the Mayans, as far back as Olmeca civilization in spiritual ceremonies, it grows in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, in Colombia and Venezuela.
Wild cacao still grows there. Its range may have been larger in the past; as of November 2018, evidence suggests that cacao was first domesticated in equatorial South America, before being domesticated in Central America 1,500 years later. Artifacts found at Santa-Ana-La Florida, in Ecuador, indicate that the Mayo-Chinchipe people were cultivating cacao as long as 5,300 years ago. Chemical analysis of residue extracted from pottery excavated at an archaeological site at Puerto Escondido, in Honduras, indicates that cocoa products were first consumed there sometime between 1500 and 1400 BC. Evidence indicates that, long before the flavor of the cacao seed became popular, the sweet pulp of the chocolate fruit, used in making a fermented beverage, first drew attention to the plant in the Americas; the cocoa bean was a common currency throughout Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest. Cacao trees grow in a limited geographical zone, of about 20 ° to the south of the Equator. Nearly 70% of the world crop today is grown in West Africa.
The cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus in his original classification of the plant kingdom, where he called it Theobroma cacao. Cocoa was an important commodity in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. A Spanish soldier, part of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés tells that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined, he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet. Flavored with vanilla or other spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. No fewer than 60 portions each day may have been consumed by Moctezuma II, 2,000 more by the nobles of his court. Chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards, became a popular beverage by the mid-17th century. Spaniards introduced the cacao tree into the West Indies and the Philippines, it was introduced into the rest of Asia and into West Africa by Europeans. In the Gold Coast, modern Ghana, cacao was introduced by Tetteh Quarshie; the three main varieties of cocoa plant are Forastero and Trinitario.
The first is the most used, comprising 80–90% of the world production of cocoa. Cocoa beans of the Criollo variety considered a delicacy. Criollo plantations have lower yields than those of Forastero, tend to be less resistant to several diseases that attack the cocoa plant, hence few countries still produce it. One of the largest producers of Criollo beans is Venezuela. Trinitario is a hybrid between Forastero varieties, it is considered to be of much higher quality than Forastero, has higher yields, is more resistant to disease than Criollo. A cocoa pod has a rough, leathery rind about 2 to 3 cm thick filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp with a lemonade-like taste enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are soft and a pale lavender to dark brownish purple color. During harvest, the pods are opened, the seeds are kept, the empty pods are discarded and the pulp made into juice; the seeds are placed. Due to heat buildup in the fermentation process, cacao beans lose most of the purplish hue and become brown in color, with an adhered skin which includes the dried remains of the fruity pulp.
This skin is released by winnowing after roasting. White seeds are found in some rare varieties mixed with purples, are considered of higher value. Cocoa trees grow in rainy tropical areas within 20 ° of latitude from the Equator. Cocoa harvest is not restricted to one period per year and a harvest occurs over several months. In fact, in many countries, cocoa can be harvested at any time of the year. Pesticides are applied to the trees to combat capsid bugs, fungicides to fight black pod disease. Immature cocoa pods have a variety of colours, but most are green, red, or purple, as they mature, their colour tends towards yellow or orange in the creases. Unlike most fruiting trees, the cacao pod grows directly from the trunk or large branch of a tree rather than from the end of a branch, similar to jackfruit; this makes harvesting by hand easier. The po
Ivory Coast or Côte d'Ivoire the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, is a country located on the south coast of West Africa. Ivory Coast's political capital is Yamoussoukro in the centre of the country, while its economic capital and largest city is the port city of Abidjan, it borders Guinea and Liberia to the west, Burkina Faso and Mali to the north, Ghana to the east, the Gulf of Guinea to the south. Before its colonization by Europeans, Ivory Coast was home to several states, including Gyaaman, the Kong Empire, Baoulé; the area became a protectorate of France in 1843 and was consolidated as a French colony in 1893 amid the European scramble for Africa. It achieved independence in 1960, led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who ruled the country until 1993. Stable by regional standards, Ivory Coast established close political and economic ties with its West African neighbors while at the same time maintaining close relations to the West France. Ivory Coast experienced a coup d'état in 1999 and two religiously-grounded civil wars, first between 2002 and 2007 and again during 2010–2011.
In 2000, the country adopted a new constitution. Ivory Coast is a republic with strong executive power vested in its president. Through the production of coffee and cocoa, the country was an economic powerhouse in West Africa during the 1960s and 1970s, though it went through an economic crisis in the 1980s, contributing to a period of political and social turmoil. Only around 2014 has GDP per capita in the country again reached the level of its peak in the 1970s. In the 21st century, the Ivorian economy is market-based and still relies on agriculture, with smallholder cash-crop production being dominant; the official language is French, with local indigenous languages widely used, including Baoulé, Dan and Cebaara Senufo. In total there are around 78 languages spoken in Ivory Coast. There are large populations of Muslims and various indigenous religions. Portuguese and French merchant-explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries divided the west coast of Africa roughly, into four "coasts" reflecting local economies.
The coast that the French named the Côte d'Ivoire and the Portuguese named the Costa Do Marfim—both mean "Coast of Ivory"—lay between what was known as the Guiné de Cabo Verde, so-called "Upper Guinea" at Cap-Vert, Lower Guinea. There was a Pepper Coast known as the "Grain Coast", a "Gold Coast", a "Slave Coast". Like those, the name "Ivory Coast" reflected the major trade that occurred on that particular stretch of the coast: the export of ivory. Other names included the Côte de Dents "Coast of Teeth", again reflecting the trade in ivory. One can find the name Cote de Dents used in older works, it was used in Duckett's Dictionnaire and by Nicolas Villault de Bellefond, for example, although Antoine François Prévost used Côte d'Ivoire. In the 19th century, usage switched to Côte d'Ivoire; the coastline of the modern state is not quite coterminous with what the 15th- and 16th-century merchants knew as the "Teeth" or "Ivory" coast, considered to stretch from Cape Palmas to Cape Three Points and, thus now divided between the modern states of Ghana and Ivory Coast.
It retained the name through French rule and independence in 1960. The name had long since been translated into other languages, which the post-independence government considered troublesome whenever its international dealings extended beyond the Francophone sphere. Therefore, in April 1986, the government declared that Côte d'Ivoire would be its formal name for the purposes of diplomatic protocol, since officially refuses to recognize or accept any translation from French to another language in its international dealings. Despite the Ivorian government's request, the English translation "Ivory Coast" is still used in English by various media outlets and publications; the first human presence in Ivory Coast has been difficult to determine because human remains have not been well preserved in the country's humid climate. However, newly found weapon and tool fragments have been interpreted as a possible indication of a large human presence during the Upper Paleolithic period, or at the minimum, the Neolithic period.
The earliest known inhabitants of Ivory Coast have left traces scattered throughout the territory. Historians believe that they were all either displaced or absorbed by the ancestors of the present indigenous inhabitants, who migrated south into the area before the 16th century; such groups included the Kotrowou, Zéhiri, Ega and Diès. The first recorded history appears in the chronicles of North African traders, from early Roman times, conducted a caravan trade across the Sahara in salt, slaves and other goods; the southern terminals of the trans-Saharan trade routes were located on the edge of the desert, from there supplemental trade extended as far south as the edge of the rain forest. The more important terminals—Djenné, Timbuctu—grew into major commercial centres around which the great Sudanic empires developed. By controlling the trade routes with their powerful military forces, these empires were able
A textile is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, cotton, hemp, or other materials to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, crocheting, knotting or tatting, felting, or braiding; the related words "fabric" and "cloth" and "material" are used in textile assembly trades as synonyms for textile. However, there are subtle differences in these terms in specialized usage. A textile is any material made of interlacing fibres, including carpeting and geotextiles. A fabric is a material made through weaving, spreading, crocheting, or bonding that may be used in production of further goods. Cloth may be used synonymously with fabric but is a piece of fabric, processed; the word'textile' is from Latin, from the adjective textilis, meaning'woven', from textus, the past participle of the verb texere,'to weave'. The word'fabric' derives from Latin, most from the Middle French fabrique, or'building, thing made', earlier as the Latin fabrica'workshop.
The word'cloth' derives from the Old English clað, meaning a cloth, woven or felted material to wrap around one, from Proto-Germanic kalithaz. The first clothes, worn at least 70,000 years ago and much earlier, were made of animal skins and helped protect early humans from the ice ages. At some point people learned to weave plant fibers into textiles; the discovery of dyed flax fibres in a cave in the Republic of Georgia dated to 34,000 BCE suggests textile-like materials were made in prehistoric times. The production of textiles is a craft whose speed and scale of production has been altered beyond recognition by industrialization and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques. However, for the main types of textiles, plain weave, twill, or satin weave, there is little difference between the ancient and modern methods. Textiles have an assortment of uses, the most common of which are for clothing and for containers such as bags and baskets. In the household they are used in carpeting, upholstered furnishings, window shades, coverings for tables and other flat surfaces, in art.
In the workplace they are used in scientific processes such as filtering. Miscellaneous uses include flags, tents, handkerchiefs, cleaning rags, transportation devices such as balloons, kites and parachutes. Textiles are used in many traditional crafts such as sewing and embroidery. Textiles for industrial purposes, chosen for characteristics other than their appearance, are referred to as technical textiles. Technical textiles include textile structures for automotive applications, medical textiles, agrotextiles, protective clothing. In all these applications stringent performance requirements must be met. Woven of threads coated with zinc oxide nanowires, laboratory fabric has been shown capable of "self-powering nanosystems" using vibrations created by everyday actions like wind or body movements. Textiles are made from many materials, with four main sources: animal, plant and synthetic; the first three are natural. In the 20th century, they were supplemented by artificial fibres made from petroleum.
Textiles are made in various strengths and degrees of durability, from the finest microfibre made of strands thinner than one denier to the sturdiest canvas. Textile manufacturing terminology has a wealth of descriptive terms, from light gauze-like gossamer to heavy grosgrain cloth and beyond. Animal textiles are made from hair, skin or silk. Wool refers to the hair of the domestic sheep or goat, distinguished from other types of animal hair in that the individual strands are coated with scales and crimped, the wool as a whole is coated with a wax mixture known as lanolin, waterproof and dirtproof. Woollen refers to a bulkier yarn produced from carded, non-parallel fibre, while worsted refers to a finer yarn spun from longer fibres which have been combed to be parallel. Wool is used for warm clothing. Cashmere, the hair of the Indian cashmere goat, mohair, the hair of the North African angora goat, are types of wool known for their softness. Other animal textiles which are made from hair or fur are alpaca wool, vicuña wool, llama wool, camel hair used in the production of coats, ponchos and other warm coverings.
Angora refers to the long, soft hair of the angora rabbit. Qiviut is the fine inner wool of the muskox. Wadmal is a coarse cloth made of wool, produced in Scandinavia 1000~1500 CE. Sea silk is an fine and valuable fabric, made from the silky filaments or byssus secreted by a gland in the foot of pen shells. Silk is an animal textile made from the fibres of the cocoon of the Chinese silkworm, spun into a smooth fabric prized for its softness. There are two main ty