How to Make Roman Clothing

Written by louise harding
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How to Make Roman Clothing
Roman garments were simply constructed. (garden statue image by cullenphotos from

Roman clothing consisted of simple construction of various fabrics dictated by a person's wealth and status in society. For the most part, wool and linen were used for clothing. For modern convenience, cotton, muslin, wool and linen can be used, with cotton and muslin being the less expensive alternative. Both men and women wore the tunica, with a difference in the garment's length. Round scarf pins or broaches can be worn as decorative pins for women's garments.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Fabric - white or off-white, 96-inches length by 45-inches width
  • Tape measure
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Fabric - 6-feet length by 60-inches width (or 45-inch width)
  • Safety pins
  • Fabric - solid colour, 45-inches width by 120-inches length
  • Fabric sash - 3-inches width by 45-inches length

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  1. 1

    Align the ends and fold a piece of 45-inches wide by 48-inches long fabric in half horizontally, making the fabric 45-inches wide by 48-inches long. According to UNRV History, Roman men wore a tunica under the toga for public display and alone at home. Don't cut the selvedge from the sides (a selvedge is the way fabric is finished by the loom when made).

  2. 2

    Measure 12 inches down from the fold (tunica shoulders), along the right sides of the fabric. Pin. This will be the armhole/sleeve. Pin the right sides together. Repeat for the left sides.

  3. 3

    Sew, using a 1-inch seam allowance and a straight stitch, along the pinned sides. Remove pins.

  4. 4

    Make a 12-inch slit in the centre along the top fabric fold for a neck hole. Slip the tunica over your head, inserting your arms through the armholes/sleeves.

  1. 1

    Position the end of the 60-inches wide by 6-feet long fabric around your waist. Pin the fabric end to the inside of the fabric at your side (if wearing a tunica, pin to the tunica's waist). Wrap the fabric around your waist (the pin is underneath) at least one time. The fabric will hang below your knees. According to How to Make a Toga website, don't use a sheet. The toga needs to be narrow and long. Some fabric is sold in 45-inch widths, which is fine but the folds won't be as dramatic.

  2. 2

    Pin through the fabric with a safety pin to your waist on the left or right side, depending on which way you've wrapped the fabric.

  3. 3

    Pull the fabric over one shoulder over your back. Use a safety pin to pin the fabric against your waist. According to UNRV History, toga styles differed according to status. Males wore toga virilis, an off-white toga. Toga praetexta, worn by senators, was off-white with purple borders. Toga picta, worn by generals, was purple with gold metallic thread.

  1. 1

    Align the ends and fold a piece of 45-inches wide by 120-inches long fabric in half horizontally, making the fabric 45-inches wide by 60-inches long. According to Legion XXIV, a woman's tunica, also called peplos, is identical to a man's only the woman's comes to the ankles.

  2. 2

    Follow Section 1 Steps 2-4.

  3. 3

    Slip the tunica over your head. Tie a sash around your waist. Let the sash show or pull the folds of the tunica up and over the sash, hiding it beneath. According to UNRV History, pins were worn at the shoulders of the tunica resulting in a gathered effect.

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