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The role of garments in the ancient societies

The role of garments in the ancient societies

In many cultures, clothing indicated the social status of various members of society. Clothing made of materials such as animal skins and vegetation was initially used by early humans to protect their bodies from the elements. The usage of clothing and textiles across the ages reflects the varying development of civilizations and technologies.

The ancient Egyptians most commonly used linen, a product made from the abundant flax plant. Due to a belief that animal based fabrics were impure, wool was rarely used and was forbidden in places like temples and sanctuaries. Other animal based products such as pelts were reserved for priests and eventually were adopted by only the highest class of ancient Egyptian citizenry. Linen is light, strong and flexible which made it ideal for life in the warm climate, where abrasion and heat would wear and tear at clothing. Thus, most ancient Egyptians used linen as their primary textile.

The material quality of garments differed between the classes, where those of the upper class used finer linens. They also used more complex drapery, designs and patterns that included dyed threads and feathers. These materials were expensive and the wearer showed greater status by wearing them. On the other hand, cheaper and thicker linen was used within the lower class, where shorter garments were worn by the working class for better mobility in the fields.

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