The Old Egyptians used it. So did the Old Romans. In the 1800's, a man wrote about it, sort of. By the Great Depression, there was a growing demand for this. In the mid 1970's, medical science told us we were doing it wrong. Right now, 21st century builders have to "live green" to model baju batik modern green. And the future seems brighter (and more energy efficient than ever before.) We've used cork, asbestos, cup, plastic, foam and actually mud to accomplish it. Yes, when you consider the history of insulation, in every its myriad forms, we can see precisely how far we've come.
The Ancient Egyptians used insulation to keep their desert homes and buildings cool, and their linen clothing warmer in the cooler winter months. They added papyrus linings with their loincloths and skirts to keep warm in winter. They built their homes of solid brick, designed to help to keep out the sun's scorching warmth in summer.
The Ancient Greeks about asbestos, in fact they named it. They utilized it to dress their imported slaves, as well as for the wicks of their eternal temple flames, napkins and the funeral dress of kings. The material's flame-resistant properties gave it a mystical charm to the Greeks. That they had a common name for this, too - crysotile - which means "gold fabric." The Greeks were the first ever to continue record as noting that asbestos caused a "lung sickness" in the slaves who caused it and wore it. The Greeks also understood how exactly to insulae their homes, using cavity wall space. The air trapped among the inner and outer wall space would act to help keep out the colder or hotter atmosphere, depending on the season.
Always on the look-out for the next best , the Ancient Romans also dressed their slaves in asbestos fabric. They produced tablecloths and napkins for restaurants and banquets out of asbestos cloth, throwing it in to the fire between diners or classes to clean it of crumbs. The Romans were possibly the ancient world's most noted engineers, and they knew more than enough to build cavity walled structures, too. They learned to insulate their heated water pipes with cork from Spain and Portugal so that they could be placed directly under floors without concern with overheating the flooring.
The Vikings and various other northern Europeans discovered to insulate their homes with mud chinking, plastering it in the cracks between your logs or hewn boards of the buildings walls.. When mixed with equine or cattle dung and straw, the mud was referred to as daub, and was regarded a stronger, better building material over plain old mud. They created clothes out of thick sheep's wool, and may have even used cloth to line the interior walls of their homes.
Cloth came to be widely used in the centre Ages among the wealthy as stone once again arrived to fashion for home building. These imposing stone structures tended to end up being drafty, damp and cold. Huge ornately embroidered or woven tapestries would be hung on interior walls, partly to block out the drafts and partly to soak up the dampness.