The ancient Mesopotamians or Sumerians were the people who established the worlds first civilization. They made numerous contributions to our present day modern world. Besides creating a city-state, writing system, water clock, wheel, the sailboat; they had also created the twelve month calendar based on lunar cycles.
The Sumerian clothing was made of natural resources available to them. They could raise sheep and the flax plant so mostly clothes were made of wool and flax stem. The clothes were heavier or coarser depending on whether it was the summer or the winter season. Men would remain bare-chested and wore skirts that could be tied at the waist. Women usually wore gowns covering them from the shoulders to their ankles. The right arm and shoulder would be left uncovered. The style of clothing would be the same for the poor and the rich; the fabric used for the wealthier Sumerians would be expensive and luxurious. Wealthy women and princesses clothing would be bright and colorful.
The first Sumerian clothing consisted of sheepskin. This was because sheep was the most domesticated animal with the Sumerians, the first clothes were sheepskin worn furry side inside. Later, they learned the art of weaving and could weave a herringbone pattern on the loom from the start! In ancient Sumerian clothing everybody in Mesopotamia wore tunics; some were worn all the way down to the ankles. Wealthier people wound a rectangular cloth with fringes over the tunic. Sometimes it was also fringed at the edges and had tassels. A Candys or cape was worn around the shoulders or the waist.
Sumerian clothing has men wearing a skirt called. This was several layers of sheepskin with pointed edges tied with rolled fabric as a belt. All priests, kings or high officials wore these skirts as apparent through scriptures and sculptures of the era. The Sumerians were very good at working with leather like all other of their creations and inventions. Metal ornaments were pressed into leather and painted into many colors to make shorter skirts for soldiers or the working men. Even helmets and capes were made in this fashion.
The making of Sumerian clothing involved a number of designs and motifs on their clothes and around their homes which are still used in sewing! Step motifs, honeycomb pine comb, concentric circles and animal prints were some of their popular motifs. They wee also the first to wear tassels and fringes on their clothes. Women wore a rectangular piece of fabric with attractive patterns. This had a fringe along one edge and was wound around the body; this clothing was adorned for thousands of years by both men and women.
Modern designers have adapted the Sumerian ancient clothing impressively. Fringes, tassels and motifs have been reproduced on evening gowns successfully. People would do anything to steal a good Sumerian coat ignoring the death penalty it invited! We thankfully dont have to go to such extremes to own a beautiful garment done in Sumerian tastes! Increasingly fashion shows around the globe are showcasing designs, styles and motifs from our ancestral wardrobes.