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Coptic shirt

This piece belongs to the collection of Walter Massey, and is probably from 5-6th century Egypt. It belonged to a coptic christian population, and was woven on a very wide loom. The original fabric was woven to an cross-shape, to accomodate for the pattern. Small pieces were cut from it to shape the sleeves, and the garment was completed by two lateral seams. Sometimes the armpits were not sewn together, perhaps for better ventilation and freedom of movement. To give the shirt a better shape and to fit it better to the body, a (sometimes curved) horizontal fold was created in the middle of the garment, approximately at the solar plexus level, both in front and back. Embroidery decorated the neckline and ends of sleeves.


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Based on: Cut My Cote; Dorothy K.Burnham;The Royal Ontario Museum; 1973; MacKinnon-Moncur

Patterns of extant garments - Shirts and Chemises, part 1
Copyright Martina a Martin Hřibovi 2006