What did the Egyptians wear?

Men and women wore clothes made of linen, a fabric woven from the flax plant. Their clothes were bleached white, although dyes were sometimes used.

Women usually wore a sheath dress, with either one or two straps over the shoulder. As the picture to the left shows, they often wore a sash to tie the dress tightly to the body.

Men usually wore loincloths if they worked in the fields, or kilts - a sort of apron wrapped around the waist.

Party dress

Some fancier clothing was sometimes worn, for example for banquets or festivals. The picture shows see-through gowns worn by men and women for a funeral banquet.



Clothes were kept in special wooden chests like the one shown here.


Bead Nets

Another fancy item worn sometimes by women was a net of beads that covered the dress. Some of these have been found on mummies.

How do we know what the Egyptians wore?

We know a lot about what Egyptians wore because of paintings and models like the ones on this page. But we have also found some actual clothes preserved in tombs. Some examples are shown to the right.


loincloths found in the Tomb of Tutankhamun


What about children?

Children up to about 12 went naked. In Egypt, nudity was not considered wrong in any way. It was a very hot country, so clothes were often not needed.

Even adults went naked sometimes. Dancing girls, or servants, or men at work were sometimes naked.

Nakht's son

Dancing girls at the funerary banquet of Nebamun



Linen was woven from fibres taken from the flax plant. Linen was woven by women on looms and could be of high or low quality. It was used not only for clothes but also for sails and mummy wrappings.

Mummy wrappings

These are a few scraps of linen from the wrappings of a mummy from the Roman period (about 2000 years ago). If you click on the picture you will get a close up look at the threads. Would you say this is high or low quality linen?