Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ancient Egypt

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Agricultural scene from the tomb of Nakht, 18th Dynasty Thebes


Linen was the most important fabric in Ancient Egypt. Egyptian linen was EXTREMELY fine material, not like the cheap linen we think of today. It was important to maintain an absolutely perfect white garment, as immaculate linen meant that you were wealthy enough to sit around all day rather than working. Interestingly, the lower classes dyed their garments various colors, because although white was the fashionable color, it was easier to hide stains on a non-white garment. Garments were very simple in construction. A basic Egyptian textile was called a sheet or an ifd, and was fringed on all four sides for a decorative touch. Garments were shaped by elaborate pleating.

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Facsimile of a scene from the Tomb of Sennedjem by Charles K. Wilkinson from c. 1922. Tomb dating from 1200 BC. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


While the actual garments of the Ancient Egyptians are relatively simple, they added some color and extravagance with jewelry. They wore headdresses, elaborate collars, bracelets, and other decorative accessories. These were made of gold and decorated with precious stones such as lapis. Accessories also carried various important motifs, like the eye of thoth (that famous Egyptian eye we know so well), the scarab, and the falcon.

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Scene from the Tomb of Sennedjem, 1200 BC, showing a man and a woman with fragrance cones.


The Egyptians also wore elaborate wigs and hairpieces. Yup, wigs. It gets really hot in the desert, so it's much more comfortable to be able to take off your hair when you need to. Hair was set in elaborate styles with an ancient version of hair gel, according to recent archaeological evidence. Apart from the hair on the head, a hairless body was desired, so body hair was plucked and shaved. Taking care of the body was extremely important, and the Egyptians bathed frequently and applied oils for beautiful skin. They also wore fragrance cones, which were scented wax cones placed on top of the head. As the day went on, the wax would melt and perfume the wearer. And of course the Egyptians are quite famous for their make up, particularly thick black lines around the eyes, which protected the eyes from the glare of the sun.

23 comments:

  1. Interesting that the lack of colour in clothing denoted status and not the other way around. Fascinating article, thanks!

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  2. really i like you blog so much exactly not your blog only i like any blog speaks about egypt and i have blog too about
    Ancient Egypt
    and any thing related about that for example ancient egypt clothing,ancient egypt facts,ancient egypt for kids,ancient egypt history,ancient egypt map,ancient egypt mummies, Early Dynastic Period of Ancient Egypt ,ancient egypt religion,ancient egypt timeline,ancient egyptian art,ancient egyptian culture,ancient egyptian gods,ancient egyptian hieroglyphics,ancient egyptian jewelry , ancient egyptian names thanks a lot so much ,,,

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  3. how pretty! do u guys mind if i give u some popularity , do u? i' doing a post on my blog about this stuff & i'd luv 2 use it! my blog is called: little fashion luvers! pls search for us and then decide , thanks!

    ~xoxo

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  4. I'm doing a project on Egyptian fashion and this helped a TON! thank you!
    www.jboomsroom.blogspot.com

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  5. thanks for the help

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  6. im doing a poster projec
    and this heled a lot so
    thanks!

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  7. thanks helped allot

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  8. Eye of horus or Ra (not "eye of Thoth")

    Great blog , thanks :)

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  9. Thanks for the help- I'm doing a project at school for Ancient Egypt and being a fashion diva I chose fashion! Total help- interesting about the wax cones.
    :-)

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  10. Hi, just wondering where the info about lower classes dyeing their garments came from...? I've never heard that before...

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    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same thing...

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  11. thanx for the info

    using it for a school project

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  12. thx it helped a ton my friends will be tots jelly.

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  13. I luv fashion,and its very hard 2 find good fashion info about Egyptians.this source helped me ALOT!!!!!!!!!! :{)

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    Replies
    1. same here,it helped a lot and im only 11!

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  15. I would like to point out that the 'eye of Thoth' sounds more like the 'Eye of Horus' or the Wadjet Eye. I've never heard of an eye-symbol related to Thoth, whereas Horus' eye was deeply important.

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  16. OMG you just saved my school project!!!

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  17. I was doing a Ancient Egypt fashion scrapbook for school and this blog really helped! Thanks!

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