Tunica (Latin tunica) — a long shirt without sleeves, which was a rectangle with holes for the arms and head. Such clothing could be of various lengths and widths: women's tunics reached to the ankles, legionnaires ' tunics were above the knees. Wider tunics covered the shoulders, which created a kind of elbow-length sleeves. The pattern of the tunic did not have any tucks, it was adjusted to the figure of the owner with the help of belts, ribbons and clasps. They could also wear several tunics at once — the lower tunic was an analogue of modern underwear and kept them warm in cool weather. This type of clothing was most widely used in Ancient Rome and Greece.
In the Roman period of antiquity, tunics were made from sheep's wool, flax was less common: it is believed that it was more expensive to produce. It is extremely rare to find a tunic made of silk — the cost of silk cloth was astronomically high, and the tunic could cost as a finished villa along with slaves. Only a few people had access to the exquisite silk fabric that was imported from far away, and products made from it testified to the very high status of the owner.
The Romans wove mainly simple linen weaving, while the fabric could be decorated with clavius (Latin: clavus or laticlave) - vertical strips of threads of a different color, woven directly during the production process. The color scheme of clothing strongly depended on the social and financial situation of a person. For example, the purple pigment was one of the most expensive, and purple-colored clothing was the prerogative of the imperial family. However, in Greece at the time of Alexander the Great, purple fabrics were not considered excessive and were common in elite military units.
In the Judean and Egyptian provinces, thanks to the climate, many different ancient tunics have been preserved, mainly with clavions. Especially many finds were made by archaeologists in the Cave of Letters.
Men wore knee-length tunics. A higher social status made it possible to wear a tunic with clavia — two thin vertical stripes running down from the collarbone. Most often there was a combination of the white main color of the tunic (the color of unpainted wool) with red stripes. On the preserved pictorial sources, you can see artisans and judges of gladiatorial games in such tunics.
Senators could wear a special tunic-tunica laticlavia with wide purple stripes that emphasized their high social status and wealth.
The figure below shows the schemes of 6 tunics:
A) Military tunic described in papyrus BGU 1564. 1.55 m long, 1.40 m wide
B) Children's linen tunic. 0.38 m long, 0.49 m wide
C) Nagal Gever youth tunic (No. 6-210). 0.65 m long, 0.90 m wide
D) Tunic from Claudian Hill, Egypt. 0.8 m long, 1.07 m wide
E) Nagal Gever Tunic (No. 22-8-4). 1.0 m long, 1.15 m wide
F) Nubia, Egypt, burial site Q150. 1.27 m long, 1.40 m wide
The military tunic was shorter than the civilian tunic, because it was tied with a belt and fell slightly above the knees. The shortest tunics, according to pictorial sources, were worn by centurions. Military tunics were usually not decorated: even stripes of a different color were much less common. Legionnaires, judging by the preserved bas-reliefs, did not wear striped tunics at all, although it is possible that the stripes were simply not depicted on the bas-reliefs for simplification. The tunics of the auxilia also had no stripes, as auxiliaries were not citizens of Rome until the end of their service.
The main colors of antique military clothing: - shades of red (orange, burgundy, brick); - shades of blue; - shades of green (it is assumed that it was used only by auxiliaries); - unpainted fabrics (white, cream, gray).
Women's tunics were necessarily long and could reach the ankles. With the help of ribbons and belts, the fabric was beautifully draped with many folds. Women's clothing was usually soft shades and pastel colors: pink, orange, green, turquoise, blue.
The slaves were dressed in the cheapest tunics, the fabrics could be any color or not painted at all. But there were exceptions, especially if the slave was in good standing with rich owners. Stripes-clavies were an unambiguous taboo for slaves.
There were several types of gladiators who wore short tunics in shades of blue, red, and white. Most often, equites performed in tunics .
The tunic is a basic item of clothing for most images in the ancient reconstruction. For its tailoring, wool or dense linen of plain weave is best suited. The color of the tunic should be appropriate for the social status of the character chosen for reconstruction. You can paint the fabric with natural dyes or choose a factory canvas that is not too bright in color.
Before sewing, it is recommended to wash the fabric in hot water: it will decrease in length, but in the future the finished product will not change its shape in any arbitrary way. Sew the tunic manually with a reverse seam (aka "back needle"). The edges of the fabric must first be processed: bend and hem so that the fibers do not unravel in the future. To create the most accurate reconstruction, you can try to achieve a drape similar to a certain bas-relief, for this you need to take into account the additional width of the tunic necessary for creating folds and knots.
Obnorsky N. P. Tunic // Encyclopedia of Brockhaus and Efron : in 86 volumes (82 volumes and 4 additions). - St. Petersburg, 1890-1907.