Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs Clothing

The ancient Egyptians both men and women wore linen clothes all throughout the hot weather. The men wore short skirts around their waists called kilts, while the women wore straight fitting dresses with straps on their shoulders. The wealthy men wore pleated kilts, and the older men wore a longer kilt. When doing hard work, men wore a loin cloth, and women wore a short skirt. Children usually ran around nude during the summer months. Linen is a fabric made from plant fibers.

The pharaoh wore a lot of gold jewelry because he could afford it. Cloth was wrapped around the waist (King Tutankhamen's Tomb). The pharaoh's clothing was more transparent than others to show his wealth and status.







Like most Egyptians, pharaohs wore clothing made of linen. The linen worn by pharaohs was particularly transparent; this was a visible representation of wealth. Linen was made from flax, a plant native to the region.
The royal headdress called the Nemes is an important royal emblem. Originally, it was a piece of linen cloth gathered together at the back of the head. The statues of King Netjer-Khet or Djoser show that by the Third Dynasty, the kings had begun to wear it over their wigs.

The Nemes became a royal headdress by the Fourth Dynasty, with or without pleating over the head, but generally with fine accordion pleating on what is called the lappets, or folds. The band of the Nemes was bound tightly above the brows and tied at the back beneath the "queue," which did not appear until the Middle Kingdom.

The band of the Nemes was strengthened by a piece of hard material like a strip of leather located between the Nemes and the forehead. This was either to prevent the cloth of the Nemes from being stained with sweat or from chafing the brow. The pharaoh wore khol, a substance made with a dark dye. Khol was applied around the eye to prevent infections and reduce sun glare in the desert climate.

Cleanliness was apparently next to godliness in ancient Egypt. And who was closer to the gods than the pharaohs themselves. Since earliest historic times the titles of "chief washer of the palace" and "washer to the pharaoh" are known, and keeping the royal clothes lily white was the duty of the "chief bleacher."

Manually washing clothes was hard work. Soap was unknown to the ancient Egyptians, so lye, made of castor-oil and saltpetre or some such substances, or detergents made of soapwort or asphodil were used. The laundry was beaten, rinsed and wrung by pairs of workers. By 1200 BCE there were fire-proof boilers in the wash-houses, and the hot water lightened the workload.

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