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The Ancient World and Fashion > Ancient Egypt
Both figures
Both figures

An Egyptian pharaoh from the New Kingdom being anointed with oil by his queen. Both figures wear pleated robes of fine royal linen, and have ornate collars and elaborate crowns.

Egyptian farmers
Egyptian farmers

Egyptian farmers, like the figures shown here, wore short kilts made from coarse linen.

Around 5000 BCE farming villages began to grow up around the Nile River in northern Africa. Gradually, from around 3100 BCE, the villages of the Nile joined together to form a great kingdom, ruled by powerful pharaohs.The Egyptian civilization flourished for three thousand years. Historians divide it into three main periods, or kingdoms: the Old, the Middle, and the New Kingdom.

Using Linen

In the hot and sunny climate of North Africa, which in ancient times was also very humid, the ancient Egyptians did not need to wear heavy clothes. Clothing was made from linen, which was cool and easy to wear. Linen thread was made from the beaten stalks of the flax plant and woven on looms into cloth.Ordinary people wore simple clothes made from coarse, unbleached linen, while nobles’ clothes were made from a fine, white, semi-transparent cloth known as royal linen.

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