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The chief linen, which has been found in graves from the Neolithic Period.The growing of flax, from which linen is made, dates from very early times; the Egyptians believed that the gods were clothed in linen before they came to earth.It generally emphasized a draped style of dress, the garments consisting of pieces of material held in place around the body by knots tied in the fabric and by belts, sashes, and collars.Little sewing was needed, being confined generally to side seams and, in later years, to armholes.
Woman wearing sheathlike gown held up by shoulder straps, typical of Egyptian dress of the Old and Middle Kingdoms.
In addition, the nature and purposes of dress and some of the specific social, political, economic, geographic, and technological factors influencing changes in fashion are treated.
Not treated here are specialized attire, including ecclesiastical dress; military dress; academic, trade, or professional dress; and the national or regional costumes of peasant or indigenous peoples.
A cape might be draped around the shoulders and knotted on the chest.
Late in the period a double skirt was introduced; alternatively, a triangular loincloth might be worn under a skirt. King Tutankhamen wearing a double skirt, long and full, with the upper one doubled and gathered in front; Queen Ankhesenamen in a draped robe tied at the breast and leaving the right arm free.
Servants also were almost naked, as were labourers in the fields, who are depicted clad only in a loincloth. Semicircular kerchiefs, tied by the corners at the nape of the neck under the hair, were sometimes worn to protect the wig on a dusty day.