What Was Clothing Made of in Ancient Greece?

Clothing has always been an important aspect of human culture and history. It is not just a way to cover our bodies but also a reflection of our identity, social status, and beliefs.

Ancient Greece is known for its rich history, art, philosophy, and mythology, but what about their clothing? What were the Greeks wearing in ancient times? In this article, we will explore the materials and styles of clothing worn by the ancient Greeks.

Materials Used for Clothing

The ancient Greeks used a variety of materials to make their clothing. The most common fabrics were wool and linen, which were readily available in Greece.

Wool was the preferred material for colder seasons as it provided warmth and insulation. Linen, on the other hand, was used in warmer months due to its lightweight and breathable nature.

Silk was also used in ancient Greece but only by the wealthy class as it was expensive and had to be imported from China through trade routes. Silk was considered a luxury fabric due to its smooth texture and sheen.

Another material used for clothing in ancient Greece was leather. It was commonly used for making shoes, belts, and armor.

Styles of Clothing

The style of clothing worn by the ancient Greeks varied depending on their gender and social status. Men wore a tunic called a chiton or a cloak called a himation.

The chiton was made of two rectangular pieces of fabric sewn together at the shoulders and sides leaving openings for the arms and head. The himation was draped over the chiton like a shawl or thrown over one shoulder like a cape.

Women wore a longer version of the chiton called a peplos or a more elaborate dress called a himation with pleats that were draped around their body.

Both men and women wore sandals made from leather or woven fibers.

Symbols on Clothing

Clothing also had symbolic meaning in ancient Greece. The patterns and colors used on clothing could represent a person’s social status, occupation, or beliefs.

For example, purple was a color reserved for the wealthy as it was expensive to produce. White was the color of mourning and was worn at funerals. Soldiers wore red tunics to symbolize courage and bravery.


In conclusion, clothing in ancient Greece was made mainly from wool and linen with silk being a luxury fabric. Men wore a chiton or himation while women wore a peplos or himation dress.

Leather and woven fibers were used for making sandals. Clothing also had symbolic meaning with patterns and colors representing social status, beliefs, and occupation. The clothing of ancient Greece may have been simple but it reflected the values and culture of its people.