Length: 60.000 cm
Width: 17.000 cm
Ancient Egypt and Sudan
Strip of decorated linen
New Kingdom or later, after 1550 BC
Linen with a blue and red striped border
Pieces of fabric were not woven specifically
The torn edge of this strip of fabric is quite regular, and the linen is of quite good quality. This suggests that it was originally part of a garment which was torn up carefully for use in wrapping a mummy. Unfortunately the fragment of fabric is too small to determine the type of garment to which it originally belonged.
Evidence from mummy wrappings shows that garments of the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC) and later were sometimes decorated with coloured borders. In many cases these were blue, as in this example, and consisted of stripes of different widths, usually located at the selvage edges of the fabric. Wider bands of colour placed either side of a series of pinstripes seems to have been very popular. The blue stripes on this example alternate with red ones, now extremely faded. At the time that this fabric was woven, blue dye was made from indigotin, and red from madder.
S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)