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Among the thousands of textiles dated to ancient and late antique Egypt, the large majority are patterned by woven decoration.  Only few examples of embroidery are known from archaeological sites. So far we do not understand why embroidery was not used more frequently as compared to the more labor-intensive tapestry method of patterning.

Basic stitches in post-Pharaonic Egypt include chain and stem stitches. Embroideries were worked with dyed woolen yarns on a monochrome linen ground fabric. Decorations were also done using couched threads. Embroidered patterns often imitate tapestries.

Further reading:

  • Vogelsang-Eastwood, G. (2016) Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab World. London.
  • Letellier-Willemin, F. (2013) The Embroidered Tunic of Dush – A New Approach. In: De Moor, A., Fluck, C. and Linscheid, P. (eds.) Drawing the Threads Together: Textiles and Footwear of the 1st Millennium A.D. from Egypt. Tielt, Belgium, 22-33.