Upholstery

As well as straps made from leather, woven cord was used to make seats for chairs and stools. This is seen in the Second Dynasty stela of the Lady Heken at Helwan. On simple stools the cord was bound around the seat rails, while on more elaborate chairs holes were drilled through the seat rails and the cord was woven across to form the seat.

Cushions were used from as early as the Second Dynasty. A fine stela, from Saqqara, shows Sehefner seated on a low-back chair. The deceased sits on a cushion which is extended over the backrest of this chair (figure 5). The weaving of linen from flax was well understood by the beginning of the Dynastic Period. A linen cushion in the British Museum, thought to date from the New Kingdom, is stuffed with the feathers of waterfowl. Animal skins were also used as seat covers: leopardskin, imported into Egypt from Nubia and the Sudan, was highly favoured.

5. Stela showing Sehefner seated on a cushion, Saqqara, Tomb 2146E, Second Dynasty. (After Quibell, Excavations at Saqqara 1912-1914, Archaic Mastabas, Cairo, 1923, p\atts XXVI-XXVIt.)

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