Styles of Egyptian robe with free
pattern guides were discussed on the detailed pages of
Costumes. However, decorative elements were mostly confined
to the removable collars on garments and other removable accessories such as
headwear, girdles (striking wrap sash belts) and deep arm cuffs.
But if you need a wearable costume you have to have basic body covering
too, so check out my other
To complete your Egyptian costume add a collar, typical
eye make up. To be fair there are plenty of King Tut collars
available at fancy dress party costume outlets online. But
part of the fun of going to an Egyptian fancy dress event is making your own
Egyptian inspired costume and most importantly achieving something that fits you
proportion wise rather
than being made as one size fits all. Think how much more hygienic
your own costume would be
you have a base under garment, the
next stage of making an ancient Egyptian tunic style costume, is
making the collar. The Egyptian collar was highly ornamental.
The colours in the decorative ornament plate used reference
points found at the British Museum. These colours and
patterns are similar to those found in dyes used in wall paintings
illustrating ancient Egyptian beads, wool and fabrics.
Decoration in Egyptian dress was chiefly confined to the collar. But
if you just want to add a few Egyptian touches consider wearing simple
decorative armband amulets.
The patterns used were made with either beads, jewels, embroidery or
painted leather pieces. But they also used coloured glass so don't
be afraid to incorporate fake gems from broken costume jewellery.
were also stamped and painted directly onto the materials.
Favourite Egyptian motifs were the Lotus flower. Look out for
craft stamps or stencils, from shopping channels such as QVC or make
your own simple potato print stamps.
simple paper stencil I made right was made using the computer. It
is based on the motif at the top of the decorative ornament plate
Click the stencil for an enlargement which you can print off on A4
paper. Cut the stencil silhouette carefully with a sharp craft
Fast Fancy Dress Tip Timesaver - If you want fast
patterned fabric use such a stencil as a the basis for a pattern
foundation of colour. Add extra complex detail with a paintbrush
of fabric paint felt pens.
The Decorative ornament plate shown left has typical Egyptian style
patterns. The vulture, scarab beetle, fanned wings and lotus flowers are
seen as often as the cobra featured on the coffin lower down the page.
pattern shape for this collar shown right is very simple and is based on
removing about 1/5th of a circle and using the larger
Female adult collar sizes are frequently between 14 and 16 inches,
but make the hole in the centre of your collar pattern to an
approximation of your neck size.
Fancy Dress Tip - To make an easy circle attach a pencil, biro or
piece of blackboard chalk to some string and draw your outer circle
whilst holding the string taut.
Fast Fancy Egyptian Dress Tip - Use Vilene iron-on or similar
interfacing on the back of your fabric to give your collar some
stiffness and stability.
Fast Fancy Dress Egyptian Costume Tip - Dispense with fabric
altogether and use Vilene, Pellon pelmet interfacing or a similar
commercial product for the collar. This will be firm, but softer to wear
Paint, bond coloured fabric with Bondaweb, or stick cut coloured
paper onto the collar to achieve a base colour. Add pieces of
metallic sweet wrappers, beads, gems, braids or scrap fabric to ornament
the collar base. Consider using products like Vilene Bondaweb or
easy fusible products to speed your task and aid creativity in other
ways. Bondaweb can also be used to apply textured wools and
braids. Trim the collar at neck and edges by gluing a suitable gold
braid or other trim.
Need more inspiration - Typical Egyptian decoration patterns could
follow this pattern left and part of King Tutankhamen's pectoral
If you have lots of time - perhaps a weekend or even better a week -
then make a *Papier-Mâché collar, using one of the many recipes already
available on the internet. With care and attention plus a well
researched recipe, you can achieve an almost porcelain like finish to
the end product.
Create areas of surface interest with the Papier-Mâché by building
and moulding gem like texture using a teaspoon and melon ball tool. Nuts, washers, plastic water bottle tops, lentils, pasta stuck onto such
a collar all add fascinating richness when sprayed gold.
WARNING - Avoid
adding metal bits with sharp edges, or grooves such as beer tops.
When the Papier-Mâché collar is thoroughly dry, quick spray
with gold paint spray. Work outside and wear a mask when using spray
paint. Next paint collar sections with coloured
metallic, pearlized paints and other craft materials. Varnish the
collar to make it shine with brilliance.
Tip - If you have no varnish,
use egg white or egg yolk for a golden glow and let it dry hard.
If you have some body dust you could add that to the egg mix for a
shimmering effect, but avoid getting a fairydust or angelic look.
It really would be worthwhile investing in some varnish and a small tin
of lustrous gold enamel paint.
Remember winged and fanned decoration was a universal feature of
Egyptian pattern on dress. Typical characteristic Egyptian elements
included the hawk, the beetle, the lotus flower and geometric patterns
that were cleverly entwined.
In many ways these all over intertwined repeat patterns are similar to
motifs found in other civilisations including Aztec and Celtic forms.
The patterns were also used to make beaded networks worn over garments.
This meant pattern could be transferred easily to a freshly laundered
Above right we have one of the coffin layers of the boy King Tutankhamun. Note
that rich intense pattern that could be incorporated into your own
Glass and enamel were favourite techniques for decoration in the Land
of the Pharaohs. The famous vulture collar laid on the mummy chest of
Tutankhamun was primarily inlaid with blue and coral red coloured glass.
The glass was possibly of high value as a product in itself in Egyptian
eyes and was inlaid into the same solid gold as any other item encrusted
with true precious gems. The birth of costume jewellery may have
occurred in Egypt.
If you live in the United Kingdom try to make time to book ahead for
reserved tickets at the Egyptian Exhibition at the Bubble Exhibition
Space at the O2 in Greenwich London. The full address is O2 Millennium
Way, Greenwich, London SE10 where you have the opportunity to see the
spectacular exhibition of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the
The UK Tutankhamun exhibition runs from Nov 15 2007 to August 30
2008. If you are travelling from abroad be warned that Greenwich is
on the perimeter of London and in real terms that means allowing about
an hour from Oxford Circus in the West End of London. Ticket and ticket
types vary, but the cheapest ticket Monday to Thursday is £15 for an
adult rising to £20, but with family ticket and group concessions.
An audio tour, narrated by Omar Sharif is up to £4 more at the door.
Find out more by visiting the kingtut.org website.
This travelling exhibition will run in UK until August 31 2008 and
then it moves to the USA and to the Dallas Museum of Art for October
2008. The Texas USA based Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the
Pharaohs Exhibition will open at the Dallas Museum of Art on October
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