Not a Dress
︎︎︎Published in Viscose Journal
This “dress” is not a dress
Crew-neck t-shirts, long sleeve dresses, cotton and linen; I have been thinking about clothes that are non-descript yet omnipresent. The stuff that is rarely “reviewed.”
I thought about “one of the oldest garments from Egypt on display in the world.” It sits at the top of a tall wooden cabinet at the end of a poorly lit aisle of the UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London. Its caption – white 15-point text printed on red – reads:
The Tarkhan dress
This dress is now one of the most famous objects in the Petrie Museum but it did not always look like this. It was excavated at Tarkhan, one of the most important cemeteries from the time Egypt was unified around 3000 BC.
Petrie’s teams excavated a pile of linen from a Dynasty 1 (c. 2800 BC) tomb in 1913. It was only in 1977, when this linen pile was cleaned by the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Textile Conservation Workshop, that the dress was discovered. It was then carefully stitched into Crepeline (a fine silk material used in textile conversation) and mounted. It is one of the oldest garments from Egypt on display in the world.
Early Dynastic Period, Dynasty 1, 2800 BC