ANCIENT EGYPTIAN CLOTHING

HOW LINEN WAS MADE

  1. All clothes were almost always made of linen which is made from flax.
  2. Flax: a plant having small leaves, blue flowers and stems about two feet tall.
  3. Flax was pulled out of the ground, not cut.
  4. This backbreaking work was done mostly by men.
  5. Half-ripe flax stems made the best thread.
  6. If the stems were too ripe, they were used for mats and rope.
  7. Flax stems were soaked for several days.
  8. The fibers were separated.
  9. Then the fibers were beaten until soft.
  10. The spinner attached the fibers to the spindle.
  11. The fibers were twisted into strong thread.
  12. The weaving was done on a loom.
  13. A loom is a frame made of two beams held by four pegs in the ground.
  14. White linen needed constant washing. It was washed in the river or canal, rinsed, then pounded on a stone, and, bleached in the sun.
  15. Linen clothes needed to be repleated every time they were washed.
  16. To do so they pressed the linen into grooves on a wooden board and let it dry.

GROOMING

  1. Workers wore loincloths made of animal hide and linen. They also wore simple tunic dresses.
  2. Loincloth: a piece of material fastened around the waist and worn by men.
  3. Most of the slaves worked naked.

CLOTHES OF WEALTHY

  1. Men or women wore long see-through robes that were pleated.
  2. Better-off people wore wide clothes of white cloth.
  3. Wealthy people did not wear more jewelry or fancier clothes to show wealth. They did wear gold jewelry and the most transparent clothes.

GETTING DRESSED

  1. Women did not dress without washing (rich people had a tiled area for washing). After washing, they rubbed themselves with scented oil then they placed a large rectangle of linen over their heads, gathered the loose corners up and tied them in a knot below the chest.
  2. The usual toilet articles were tweezers, razor and comb.

HAIR

JEWELRY

  1. Whether you were rich or poor you wore jewelry.
  2. They wore rings, necklaces and ear studs.
  3. Ear studs: earrings.
  4. The jewelry was made of gold or colorful beads.
  5. Necklaces were made with turquoise and lapis lazuli stones.
  6. Lapis Lazuli: a deep-blue stone used for ornaments.

 

MAKE UP


  1. Both men and women made up their eyes and lips.
  2. They mixed powdered minerals with oil to get colors.
  3. At parties women wore a cone of scented fat on their heads that slowly melted making their heads smell nice.

FOOTWEAR

  1. People usually went barefoot and carried their sandals, wearing them only when needed.
  2. The sandals were made of palm fiber or braided papyrus.
  3. Papyrus: tall water plant that grows in the Nile Valley.

PRIESTSí CLOTHING

  1. Priests washed several times a day and they had to remove all body hair to be pure enough to approach the god.
  2. They could not wear leather sandals or wool clothing (considered unclean).
  3. They wore a leopard robe when serving the god Amun.
  4. In many cults (churches), they wore no wig.

Question:

How did the environment affect the type of clothes the Ancient Egyptians wore?

Answer:

Since the environment was so hot the Ancient Egyptians wore little or no clothes at all. If they did wear clothes they were very thin and light. They also made almost all of their clothes out of linen because they only had flax plants growing in Egypt. They made most of their clothes out of flax which they could turn into linen.

By Jessie, Sara and Courtney