Primary Source

Infant's Tunics [Object]


These two infant tunics, found south of Cairo by archaeologists, date to the period after the Arab conquest of Egypt. The first tunic, measuring 45 centimeters long and 47 cm wide (17.7 x 18.5 inches), was made of a single length of hand-woven brown wool folded in half at the shoulders and sewn on the sides, leaving openings for the arms and vents at the hand-stitched hem for mobility. A stripe of orange was woven across the shoulders and an applied band was sewn onto the neck opening. The tunic features rows of cream and red woolen pile loops for warmth. The tunic was buried with the loops facing out, but the pile was likely worn on the inside during life. The second tunic, 46 cm (18.1 inches) by 48 cm (18.9 inches), was also made from a single length of cloth folded in two. A neck finishing was cut from the same cloth and sewn onto the tunic with white linen thread, along with a band of red wool with geometric patterning. This tunic may have been recycled from an adult garment, or heavily repaired. Approximately 11 different shades of wool thread were darned into the base fabric in rectangular patterns, restoring a worn object or making a plain one colorful. Magnified detail available online for tunic 1 and tunic 2.


Children's tunics, [T.8380 and T.8505], Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, U.K., (Tunic 1, T.8380) and (Tunic 2, T.8505) (accessed March 5, 2009).

How to Cite This Source

"Infant's Tunics [Object]," in Children and Youth in History, Item #210, (accessed July 21, 2019). Annotated by Susan Douglass