Dress Like an Egyptian: Takhaet's Costume Stall

This is for Panhistoria, an online roleplay.

Accessories and PropsCloth SuppliesClothingCraft Supplies: Cordage, Dyes, Paints and more — Jewelry SuppliesMakeup SuppliesSandalsWigs

Accessories and Props

Cones of perfumed fat to go on top of heads

Faux leopard and lion skins - use when dressing as a pharaoh, but be careful you don’t offend the current one. Sem priests (a type of priest, also wear leopard skins.

Cloth Supplies

Linen - various grades. Our finest comes from young flax plants. The vast bulk of our linen is white, of course, but we also have some red, yellow, and blue cloth.

Wool - we have a little, why do you want it?

Cotton - we don’t have it because we don’t cover the Coptic period. This is an ancient Egyptian website!


For Men

Shendyt - wrap around kilts, wear with belt. Some pleated or gathered in front. For Old Kingdom, choose a short shendyt. For Middle Kingdom, choose a longer one. Can have gold thread or beadwork.

Robes - for New Kingdom

Knee-length shirts

For priests, viziers, and some other officials - long white robes with a strap over one shoulder

Men’s Headdresses

Khat - linen headcovering that is simpler than a nemes headdress, for it is not pleated or striped. It hangs down open in the back instead of being tied together. From the 1st Dynasty on. Akhenaten wore a bag-like version.

Nemes - striped headcovering worn by pharaohs. It could extend a bit down the back. It had to lappets or large flaps wihich hung behind the ears and went in front of the shoulders. It is tied together in back. From the 1st Dynasty on.

For Women

Sheath dress - Until the 18th Dynasty, tube of material from the breasts (just above or just below) to just above the ankles, with two straps that cover the breasts. Some are embellished with beads or feathers. They look so clingy in statues, but let’s face it, ladies, linen sags. Besides, we all don’t look like how we’re painted on walls.

Dress with short sleeved top with gathered neck instead of straps.

Robes, some pleated - For the New Kingdom. To wear, lift the two bottom corners, bring them around to the front and knot under breasts.

New Kingdom Upper Class Sheath Dresses - can choose one with gold thread, beadwork, or colorful patterns.

Capes, pleated

Sash, colored - to use, knot around the wait and let the ends hang in front almost to the floor

Shawls, many pleated - Popular among upper class New Kingdom women. Tie one corner to a cord around your waist on the left side. Pass the material around you, gather up some pleats, tuck them into the cord in front, pass it around yourself again, now pass it under your left armpit, around the back again, then over the right shoulder, over the left shoulder, bring it around, and tie it to the end originally tied to the belt. Simple, right?

Back to top

Craft Supplies


We have mndm, nbt,, and dnit. Yep.

Coiled baskets (with reinforced ribs or not) - our most popular type. Date or dom palm. Oval or circular, with lids or without. Some have carrying loops.

Twined baskets (different knots and stitches for different textures). Date or dom palm, or haifa grass. Oval or circular, with lids or without. Some have carrying loops.

Plaited baskets (pass under and over). Date or dom palm. Oval or circular, with lids or without. Some have carrying loops.

We have a few baskets of sedge, rushes, or flax.

Mats - flat and plaited, for wrapping materials and other uses


Halfa grass cordage - cheaper but not as strong as linen cordage

Linen cordage - this is the good stuff


Alum for fixitive so colors stay

Blue - indigo (woad)

Green - mix blue and yellow

Red - madder (the root), or henna leaves

Yellow - safflower dye, or saffron



Black, kem: associated with Anubis, Osiris, Bastet, death, darkness, underworld, fertiile soil after the annual flood - carbon, ground charcoal, water, and sometimes burnt animal bones, and gum Arabic.

Blue, irtiu and khesbed: associated with Amun, Bes, Thoth, water, heaven - copper and iron oxides, silica, and calcium, and gum Arabic. Or, azurite, and gum Arabic. For “Egyptian blue,” sand, lime, sodium carbonate, copper, and fire it.

Green, wadj: associated with Hathor, Osiris, Horus, growth, renewal - malachite and gum Arabic.

Red, desher: associated with Set, fire and blood: oxidized iron and red ocher, or cinnabar, and gum Arabic.

Yellow, khenet and kenit: associated with Ra, Isis, the sun, eternity - ocher and oxides; in New Kingdom, use arsenic trisulphide, and gum Arabic. Or orpiment and gum Arabic.

White, hedj and shesep: associated with Nefertum, purity, cleanliness - chalk and gypsum, or chalk, or gypsum, and gum Arabic.

Hints for Skin Colors

For standardized Egyptian male skin, mix red and brown
For standardized Egyptian female skin, mix yellow and white
For standard deities - use gold
For Osiris - green or black skin
For Thoth - have blue or blue-green somewhere

Painter’s palettes

Paint brushes, grass or reeds bound together.

Pottery jars with linen carrying nets

Thread - white, white, white. Some red, yellow, or blue. Gold for upper class.

Jewelry Supplies

For “Costume Jewelry”

Faience - glaze over a stone or sand core
Glass beads, many colors
Pottery beads - we have a large array of many different colors and shapes. See “Types of Pendants” for ideas.

Bead and Pendant Materials

Amethyst from Eastern Desert
Carnelian from Eastern Desert
Gold from the Eastern Desert and Nubia
Jasper from Eastern Desert
Lapis Lazuli from a place called Afghanistan
Silver from a far away place called Asia
Turquoise from a place called Sinai

Types of Pendants

These are just a few

Ankh - symbol of life
Ben Ben/Pyramid - primordial mound of Atum (sometimes Ptah or Ra)
Djed - column, represents stability, also refers to Osiris
Eye of Ra/Udjat - associated with Wadjet in Predynastic times, but later Horus, Ra, and others
Isis knot/Tjet
Lotus flower/sesen - symbolizes life, creation, rebirth, the sun. Because of rebirth, it is associated with Osiris
Papyrus plant
Scarabs - dung beetles, associated with the gods. Yes, it’s an insect, but they’re so popular we have a whole section of them
Shen ring - symbol of eternity
White ostrich father of Ma’at - symbolizes balance and truth

Premade items



Choose gold, silver, or precious stones for an upper class costume or shells, wood, or bone for those on a budget (or choose faience and pottery beads and make your own)


Menat collars - associated with Hathor. Many strings of small beads threaded through two or more larger, circular beads. Many have a counterpoise shaped like Hathor or with an inscription to her.

Shebyu collars - also shebu/shebiu, not worn before Thutmosis IV introduced it in the New Kingdom. Often given as a reward for service or valor, especially during Akhenaten’s reign. The collar had up to five rows of circular, biconical beads hanging side by side and joined in one central clasp. Some have thinner strands also hanging from the central clasp. Most of our shebyus are gold, but we also have faience.

Wesekh collars - also usekh/weskhet, made of cylinders of metal or colored stone beads in horizontal rows, with gold clasps. A cheaper option is faience. Can have leaf-shaped pendants for an outer row, or leaf beads between two rows of horizontal beads. It has a counterpoise that hangs between the shoulder blades.

Back to top

Makeup Supplies

For men and women

Cleansing oil to remove makeup

Cosmetic jars - to keep makeup

Cosmetic palettes - to grind makeup

Chalk and white lead pigment in creams and powders for women to make their skin fashionably pale


Line your eyes to protect against disease, bugs, and the sun


Kohl - black eye eyeliner, made from galena
Malachite eyeliner

Eye shadow - Malachite

Lipstick, red - made from ocher and animal fat


When you want a touch of class

Leather sandals
Papyrus sandals
Vegetable fiber sandals


Hair extensions for men and women


Hair extensions fasteners - Beeswax and resin

Wig Materials

Human hair wigs - obviously the best
Sheep's wool wigs
Vegetable fibers wigs - value option

Women’s Wigs

Old Kingdom, you might choose one with two or three layers of tight braids. Or choose one that falls between your ears and your shoulder, or one that goes down to the breasts. Old Kingdom wigs were often shorter than later periods. Middle Kingdom wigs were bulkier and draped over each shoulder.

Tripartite wigs - two parts behind the ears and down the front to the breasts, with the third part going down the back to the shoulder blades.

Enveloping wigs - Like the tripartite but covers the ears and circles around to the back in one piece, not three. The braids are still in different lengths, falling to the breasts in front, the shoulders at the sides, and to the shoulder blades in back.

Pre-braided. Some also have hair-rings and ivory ornaments already attached (but don’t let this fool you, the men usually have more elaborate hairstyles)

Nubian wigs - Layers of tightly curled plaits that resembles the hairstyles of Nubians. Very popular during the 18th Dynasty. Use when costuming as Kiya, Nefertiti, and Tiye.


Hairpins, combs, wig boxes (reed and other materials), wig covers, and date-palm fiber to pad that wig for better fullness

Back to top

Ahmed, Harby E. (April 1, 2019). Natural Dyes in Historical Egyptian Textiles Volume 3 - Issue 2.

Ancient Egyptian Symbols.

Beauty and Costmetics in ancient Egypt.

Bizzari, Heba Fatteen. Basketry in Ancient and Modern Egypt. Tour Egypt.

Clothing and Adornment.

Clothing in Ancient Egypt.

Color in ancient Egypt

Cosmetics Use in Ancient Egypt. (2020).

Egyptian Color Palette.

A History of Natural Dyes - Episode 2, Egypt, part 1.

The History of Wigs.

Khat (apparel).

Necklaces and collars.


Nubian Wig.

Serotta, Anne, Julie Marie Selbert, and Isabel Stünkel. Paint Like an Egyptian! (July 20, 2020).

Springer, Ilene. Great Hair Days in Ancient Egypt.

Textile Clothing and Production. (2003). University College London.

Usekh collar.

Women’s Clothing and Fashion in Ancient Egypt.