Ancient Egyptian Clothing

Ancient Egyptian clothing was light weight and usually white in color. The clothing they wore was ideal for the hot climate of the desert.

Ancient Egyptian clothing was made from materials that were found locally. The main material used for making ancient Egyptian clothing was linen.

Very few ancient Egyptians wore animal skins except for priests, priestesses and shepherds while they tended to their flocks of animals.

Ancient Egyptian linen was produced from flax which grew naturally along the banks of the Nile River. Later, flax would be planted by farmers to help with demand of clothing as the population grew in ancient Egyptian.

The process for making linen was not hard. First the ancient Egyptians would harvest the flax. Second they would soak the flax in water to make the plant fibers soft.

After the flax was soft, ancient Egyptians would separate the fibers. These fibers would then be beat and spun into thread. The last step was for the thread to be woven into cloth.

The quality of the linen made from flax varied. Rich ancient Egyptian people wore clothes made from the best linen which was almost see-through.

Poorer ancient Egyptian people wore a more dense linen which lasted longer under normal wear and tear.

Men’s Clothing

Ancient Egyptian clothing for men was simple. Men wore skirts that wrapped around their torsos. Belts were used to secure the skirt around their waists.

The style of the garment depended on the time frame. For instance, in the old kingdom skirt were short or knee length. During the middle kingdom men wore skirts down to their calves.

In the new kingdom period skirts were often pleated and available in a variety of lengths.

Ancient Egyptian men also wore plenty of jewelry. Rich men sewed jewels onto their clothes for decoration. During special ceremonies or parties, men would wear an ornate headdress.

Women’s Clothing

Ancient Egyptian clothing for women consisted of an ankle length dress that had one or two shoulder straps. The style of dresses for ancient Egyptian women did not change until the new kingdom period when pleated dresses were in style.

Rich ancient Egyptian women wore fine dresses made of see-through linen. They also weaved numerous jewels into the fabric for decoration as well as wore headdresses during special ceremonies.

Children’s Clothing

Ancient Egyptian clothing for children was simple. Children in ancient Egypt did not wear clothes until the age of six years old.

The clothing style for children depended on their sex. Boys and girls of ancient Egypt wore the same styles as men and women of ancient Egypt.

Shoes

Ancient Egyptian clothing also included shoes. Many ancient Egyptians simply went barefoot. If they did wear shoes, the shoes were sandals.

Rich ancient Egyptians wore sandals made from leather and poorer ancient Egyptians wore sandals constructed of woven grasses like palm or papyrus.

Jewelry

Ancient Egyptian clothing included plenty of jewelry for decoration. Jewelry was worn by ancient Egyptians to make them more appealing to their gods.

Rich ancient Egyptian people wore jewelry made of gold, silver and numerous precious stones. Poorer ancient Egyptians wore jewelry made from copper or bronze.

Colorful beads of clay would be used to help decorate jewelry and clothing for special ceremonies.

Make-up

Ancient Egyptians liked to wear make-up all the time. Both men and women wore make-up in ancient Egypt.

The most popular make-up was eyeliner. Eyeliner was made of black kohl and applied to eye lashes and eye brows.

Ancient Egyptians would color their eye lids with a variety of colors that were made from crushed minerals. They would also color their lips and nails with henna dye of various colors.

Important facts about ancient Egyptian clothing

  • Ancient Egyptian clothing was made of linen.
  • Linen was weaved from thread made of flax.
  • Ancient Egyptian men wore wrap around skirts of various length.
  • Ancient Egyptian women wore skirts that were ankle length with shoulder straps.
  • Rich ancient Egyptian people wore clothes made of the finest linen which was see-through.
  • Children in ancient Egypt did not wear clothes until they were six years old.
  • Ancient Egyptian clothing included sandals made from woven grasses like papyrus and leather.
  • Jewelry was often woven or sewn onto ancient Egyptian clothing.

Questions

  • What age did ancient Egyptian children start to wear clothes?
    Six years old
  • What type of make-up was widely used by both ancient Egyptian men and women?
    Black eyeliner
  • The finest see-through linen was used to make clothes for what type of ancient Egyptian people?
    Rich people
  • Ancient Egyptian clothing was made from which plant that grew on the banks of the Nile River?
    Flax