The textiles were not imported into Egypt as luxury items, but as utilitarian cloths that were to serve a function as clothing or interior decoration. Even as small fragments they may reveal something about their former purpose. Frequently we find seams that are clearly signs of tailoring. Wide borders, sometimes with the addition of lappets, suggest a use for domestic furnishing, as hangings or bench covers.

All cloths were used and reused until they were no more than rags, as can be seen from the numerous mending seams. Bearing this in mind, it is remarkable how vivid the design and colour of many of the fragments appear even today. While the textiles are cotton, the sewing on them is frequently done with a flax thread, a fibre that was not used in India, but common to Egypt. it is quite certain, therefore, that the textiles were shipped as uncut piece goods and were then cut and sewn after arrival in Egypt.



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