How Did They Make Clothes in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, clothing played a significant role in society, reflecting the values and status of individuals. The ancient Greeks had mastered the art of creating garments that were not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of ancient Greek clothing and explore how they made their clothes.

Tunic: The Staple Garment

The most common and essential piece of clothing in ancient Greece was the tunic, also known as a chiton. The tunic was a simple rectangular piece of fabric that was draped around the body and fastened with pins or brooches. It was typically made from wool or linen.

Ancient Greeks believed in simplicity and elegance, so the tunics were usually undyed, displaying the natural color of the fabric. However, some tunics were dyed using vibrant colors like purple or red to indicate wealth and social standing.

Step 1: Cutting the Fabric

To create a tunic, craftsmen would start by cutting a rectangular piece of fabric based on the desired length. They would take measurements from shoulder to knee or ankle, depending on whether it was worn by men or women.

Step 2: Sewing

The next step involved sewing two sides together to form a tube-like shape with openings for arms and neck. The shoulder area was left open, allowing free movement for the wearer.

Peplos: A Traditional Women’s Garment

For women in ancient Greece, an additional garment called a peplos was worn over the tunic. The peplos was made from a larger rectangular fabric piece and folded around the body.

The upper part of the peplos would be pinned at both shoulders while leaving one arm exposed. The lower part of the fabric would then be folded back and secured with a belt at the waist, creating a bloused effect.

Finishing Touches

To add flair to their clothing, ancient Greeks often embellished their garments with decorative elements. These included embroidered borders, intricate patterns, and various types of trims.

Accessories: Essential Complements

No outfit was complete without accessories in ancient Greece. Both men and women wore belts to cinch their tunics at the waist, providing a more fitted look. Additionally, sandals made from leather or woven materials were commonly worn to protect the feet.


Ancient Greek clothing was not only functional but also symbolic of social status and cultural values. The simple yet elegant design of the tunics and peplos reflected the Greeks’ appreciation for beauty in simplicity. By understanding how they made clothes in ancient Greece, we gain insight into their craftsmanship and fashion sensibilities that continue to influence modern clothing styles to this day.