Textiles in Egypt

  • Gregg DeYoung
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3934-5_9297-2

Egyptian textiles during the Dynastic Era (3100 BCE–300 BCE) were primarily linen, although wool was not unknown. (Cotton and silk were introduced only later.) Linen was produced in three basic grades: royal or fine linen, thin cloth, and smooth cloth. Production of royal linen, the highest grade, was a palace monopoly. Its manufacture took place both in the royal palace and in workshops associated with state temples. These workshops were supervised from the royal harem and were obligated to provide specific amounts of linen annually for use in the royal household and in temple rituals. Presumably it was this highest grade of linen that was also used in international trade.

As is often the case, much of our knowledge of the processes for textile production, use, and care is derived from scenes portrayed in the funerary art of the social elite and tomb models showing textile workshops, coupled with the study of surviving textile examples (and Egypt’s dry climate has helped to preserve...


Flax Fiber Spindle Shaft State Temple Royal Palace Warp Thread 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The American University in CairoCairoEgypt