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Clothing in Ancient Egypt

  • 05 16, 2023

Clothing and Fashion in Ancient Egypt

Fashion in Ancient Egypt relates to the clothes worn by the Egyptians in ancient Egypt from the end of the Neolithic period (before 3100 B.C) to the collapse of the Ptolemaic Kingdom by the death of Queen Cleopatra in about 30 B.C, where Egyptian clothing was filled with a variety of different colors and fabrics that are distinguished with precious stones and precious jewelry adorned with them, the ancient Egyptians' costumes were made not only for beauty but also for comfort. Egyptian fashion is designed to keep the body cool while in the hot desert

Linen the most common fabric that described Ancient Egyptian Clothes were the most popular fabric. It helped people to be cooler in the subtropical heat that was about. Linen is made from the flax plant by spinning the fibers from the stem of the plant. Spinning, weaving, and sewing were very important ways for all Egyptian societies. It was possible to normalize vegetable dyes on clothes, but mostly they left the clothes in their natural color. Wool was also known, but it was considered impure. Only the wealthy wore the animal fibers that were the subject of taboos. It was sometimes used for women's coats but was forbidden in temples and holy places.

Workers, peasants, and other people of modest social status wore nothing at all times but wore Shinta (made of linen) by all people. Slaves were often working naked, The most common head covering was also considered khat or herbal, a striped cloth worn by men

During the Pyramids age or the Old Kingdom since about 2130 B.C, the clothes were very simple, as the men wore wraps around the skirts known as Shendyt, which were tied at the waist, and also had other forms such as being sometimes folded or gathered in the front. During this time the men's skirts were short. It also came in the Middle Kingdom era (1600 B.C), as he wore the skirt for a longer period. Then it came about circa 1420 B.C., there was a light jacket or long-sleeved blouse, as well as a folded women's dress.

During the Old, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom eras, mostly ancient Egyptian women wore an easy dress described as Kalasiris. Women's clothing in ancient Egypt was more conservative than men's clothing, as dresses were fixed by one or two straps and worn to the ankle, while the upper edge could be fixed to the top of the breasts, and the length of the dress was considered an indication of the social class of the wearer. She used beading or feathers as well to play her role in dress decoration during the dress, women would choose to wear shawls, capes, or robes. The shawl was a fine linen cloth about 4 feet wide by 13 or 14 feet long. Where it was worn mostly pleated.

Children wore no clothes until 6 years old. Once they became six years old they were entitled to wear clothing to protect them from the dry weather. A common hairstyle among the children was the side-lock, an unshaved length of hair on the right side of the head. Even though children normally wore no clothing, they wore jewelry such as anklets, bracelets, collars, and hair accessories. when they grew up, they wore the same fashions as their parents.

Clothing in Ancient Egypt

Wigs played a major role in the fashion of the ancient Egyptians, especially the kings and rulers of Egypt and the wealthy of them and both sexes, as it had more than one method of making it, it was made from human hair sometimes and again it could be supplemented with date palm fibers, and it is often designed in narrow curls and narrow braids. It was worn by women and men on special occasions, and both men and women can top the wigs with cones of scented fat that melt to free the smell of perfume and hairdressing.

Regardless of the social class, if it was poor or rich, jewelry was very popular in ancient Egypt, they used to be heavy and somewhat bulky. The main reason for wearing jewelry is because of its aesthetic function, just as the ancient Egyptians wore sober clothes in white linen fabrics. The Egyptian preference was for the use of bright colors, shiny stones, and precious metals, like those masterpieces of King Tutankhamen exhibited in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo which is tailored from the Egyptian materials like gold that was mined from the eastern desert of Egypt, and also came from Nubia, which was an Egyptian colony for centuries.

On the other hand, silver was rare and was shipped from Asia. Therefore, it was silver that was regularly considered more precious than gold. The eastern desert was also an essential source for colorful semi-precious stones such as carnelian, amethyst, and jasper. In the Sinai were turquoise mines, and the deep blue lapis lazuli had to come from far-away Afghanistan. Glass and faience (glaze over a core of stone or sand) were favorites to replace rocks because they could be produced in several colors.

The Egyptians became extremely skilled at making turquoise and metal jewelry such as gold, silver, and small beads. Where both men and women are adorned with earrings, necklaces, and necklaces that were brightly colored. And those who cannot afford to buy jewelry made of gold or other stones make jewelry out of colored pottery beads whose shapes are also great.

Clothing in Ancient Egypt

Embalming allowed the development of cosmetics and perfumes.[clarification needed] The perfumes of Egypt were the most numerous, but also the most sought and the costliest of antiquity, which used them extensively. The Egyptians used makeup most of all the ancient people. Nails and hands were painted with henna. A lot of artifacts used in preserving cosmetics are displayed in the Egyptian Museum, especially in the collection of the famous King Tutankhamun, you can see them during the regular Egyptian Museum tour.

Black eyeliner, which was used to mark and define eyes, also appeared from Galena. Eye shadow was made of crushed malachite. The red, which was applied to the lips, which has so far been a cosmetic for women, came from Ocher. These products are mixed with animal fats to make them compact and maintain. They wore Galina or powdery malachite not only to enhance beauty but because they believed it worked to prevent dust and dirt from getting into their eyes. For this reason, both men and women used to wear it.

The results, published by the American Chemical Society in the Journal of Analytical Chemistry, showed that the use of lead in composition was intended. Where the results indicate that lead in combination with the salts that the body produces naturally produces nitric oxide which enhances the immune system. It is believed that production and results were deliberate by the ancient Egyptians. Increased immunity can help prevent eye infections.
Clothing in Ancient Egypt
The shoes of that era were of a functional and class nature, as there was a difference between public shoes, soldiers' shoes, and children's shoes that were “mini versions of adult shoes” and the shoes of kings. Footwear was the same for both sexes. It consisted of sandals of leatherwork, or for the priestly class, papyrus. Since Egyptians were normally barefoot, sandals were worn on special occasions or at times when their feet might get hurt.


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Egypt Tours FAQ

Read top Egypt tours FAQs

Yes, you can buy old or traditional Egyptian clothes while visiting Egypt. There are several options for finding such clothing items:

Local Markets and Souks: Traditional Egyptian clothing, including items like galabeyas (long, flowing robes) and shawls, can often be found in local markets and souks. These markets are scattered throughout Egypt's cities and towns, and they offer a wide range of traditional clothing items.

Bazaars and street vendors: In tourist areas, you'll often find street vendors and stalls selling traditional Egyptian clothing and accessories. Be prepared to bargain for prices in these settings.

Specialty Shops: Some areas in Egypt, such as the Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo, have specialty shops that focus on traditional Egyptian clothing and textiles. These shops may offer a higher quality and wider selection of items.

Handicraft Centers: In some cities, you can visit handicraft centers or workshops where local artisans produce traditional clothing. This can be a great opportunity to see the craftsmanship and buy directly from the creators.

Antique Shops: If you're interested in vintage or antique Egyptian clothing, you can explore antique shops in major cities. Keep in mind that older items may be more expensive and may require special care due to their age.

Local Festivals and Events: During local festivals and cultural events, you may find vendors selling traditional clothing. These events can be a great way to immerse yourself in Egyptian culture and shop for unique items.


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