Child's dress - ROM2014_13910_10


Child's dress

Medium:Linen tabby with inserted wool tabby and twill bands
Geography: Egypt
Date: 8th-9th Century
Period: Early Islamic
43 x 61.7 cm
Object number: 952.63
Not on view

The gently flaring, more fitted shape of this child's dress is similar to an adult garment in the collection, a man's shirt (910.1.9) of the 8th - 10th century. However, this dress is composed of many more pieces: a front and back yoke, a skirt with centre and side seams plus triangular gores at the sides, and sleeves with 2-3 pieces under the arm. The deep vertically slit neckline and inserted contrasting bands are quite unusual and exceptionally attractive.

In contrast to Coptic tunics, which were woven to shape on a wide loom, this dress is composed of several pieces cut from a length of fabric woven on a narrower loom. In many garments of this period, the body is cut in a single piece that wraps over the shoulder to form the centre front and back of the garment. The sleeves and side panels are also cut so that they wrap around the body. Smaller pieces are often required to complete the garment, and their haphazard nature suggests reuse of an older garment.

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