February 20, 2012

Ancient Egyptian Clothing for Men and Women

Ancient Egypt Clothes for Women
The dress of the ancient Egyptians consisted not simply of the clothes they wore but also of elaborate costume jewellery which served to embellish their usually plain garments, wigs which they wore over their own cropped hair, and striking cosmetics which not only enhanced their features but were also thought to have hygienic and medicinal qualities. Their clothing was simple and did not change a great deal over the millennia, although more elaborate styles did appear during the New Kingdom. The universal material was linen, which was light and cool to wear, Wool seems almost never to have been used, possibly because of religious taboos, although the native Egyptians sheep were bot wool-bearing and cotton was unknown until the Coptic Period. Garments were draped round the body rather than tailored, and sewing was kept to minimum. The chief from of decoration was pleating, and from examples of garments which have survived it is clear that a mechanical process was used to put the small, regular pleats into the cloth and that some from of starch or size was used to fix them, The nature of the implement which created the pleats is unknown, but it may have consisted of a board cut in peaks and groves into which the cloth was pressed.

Ancient Egypt Clothing for Women
Colored or patterned cloth was rarely used. One reason for this is that is very difficult to fix dyes into linen without a mordant, the use of which was unknown in ancient Egypt. Garments with colored patterns are depicted in tombs and a few examples have survived, but the technique of their production was not native . It was developed in the Near East and only brought into Egypt with the introduction of the vertical loom. The use of woven patterned textiles by the Egyptians was never widespread and may been limited to the royal household.

Let us briefly survey the changing fashions of ancient Egypt up to the New kingdom, after which there was little change or development,. The basic costume for men, throughout the period, was a kilt, falling to just above the know and made of a rectangular piece of linen folded round the body and tied at the waist with a knot or fastened with a buckle. Variations on this simple theme include a squared end, a rounded end, a starched from forming an apron , and pleating, In the Old kingdom this is the only type of male costume depicted , although a cloak of some sort must have been added for cool weather, Official and ceremonial attire was more complicated , Priests, for example , wore leopard skins wrapped around their torso and falling over the kilt like an apron. Working men wore only a twist of linen around their lions or wet naked . Children are also frequently depicted naked, as are those indulging in rigorous exercise.

Women wore simple sheath dresses falling from the breast to just above the ankle . These appear to have been made of a rectangle of material sewn down one side , roughly hemmed and wit straps attached to the top edge to support the dress . Their extreme figure- hugging style may be put sown party to artistic license - the desire of the artist to show the from of the body beneath. Examples of dresses which survive from the Early Period are much more baggy and have sleeves. Indeed, if the dresses were as tight as portrayed, they would have been difficult to put on, let aloe walk in.

Ancient Egypt Clothes for Women
During the Middle Kingdom pleated clothing became far more common and although men continued to wear the short kilt, a longer, straighter style appeared which was fastened on the chest and fell to the shins. Representations of this type of kilt indicate a series of wide, horizontal pleats, which may in reality have been fold-marks in the cloth. These 'maxi-kilt' were frequently worn over the top of a short under-kilt . At this time clothing for the upper part if the body is also shown. It consists of a bag-like tunic made simply from a rectangle of material seamed up the sides , with holes left for the arms and another hole cut in the centre for the head. An enveloping a clock also appears, rapped round the body, although on shoulder was sometimes left bare. The edges of this garment are frequently fringed. The style of female dress changed little during the Middle Kingdom, although colors and patterning became popular among workingwomen.

The New kingdom heralded the appearance of a highly elaborate style of dress for both men and women. Pleating ran riot and is to be seen over the whole garment. Fringing also became more popular. Men usually wore a short under-kilt, over which hung a long , heavily pleated skirt, knotted at the hips, with a fringed sash hanging down over a pleated apron which fell below the knee. On their torso they wore a developed from of the bag-tunic, with a key-hole neck and wide sleeves which were normally pleated, although plain tight sleeves are also shown. A light shawl or cock was sometimes thrown over the shoulder.

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    3 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    Omg i never knew that sooo cool

    Anonymous said...

    that is like so awesome the clothes are like so pretty i wish i was alife in anciant agypt!!!!! xxo

    Anonymous said...

    OMG Girls that is sooooooo cute ily <3 #twelvies

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