I don't know if you have heard about the foundling swatches and their significance in history. The Foundling Hospital in London England was founded in 1741 for the care of deserted children. Often scraps of cloth were included with the meager records that were kept in the hopes that the children would be reclaimed someday and the fabric pieces could be used as a means of identification. The fact that these fabric scraps have survived all these years is a miracle and a tribute to the strength it must have taken for parents to give up their children - into an uncertain future. Many of them died while at the Hospital, some were adopted, and many more were indentured.
There are two very interesting articles with further information HERE and also HERE. It's a significant part of fabric history and well worth reading about.