This dress, dating back to Middle Kingdom Egypt, potentially the 11th or 12th Dynasty (circa 2055-1650 BC), is a diminutive, beaded garment. It presents as a diminutive shirt crafted completely from multicolored faience beads.

The pattern of the dress, woven intricately with cylindrical and disk-shaped beads, features an impressive geometric design. The beads, in varying hues of green, white, and blue, are arranged to refract sunlight, a feature most noticeable in the garment's lower section. The contrasting chevron pattern, present at this spot, creates a sense of movement. The garment's upper section features a circular disc collar, aligning with the overall geometric design

Historically, bead-net dresses like this one would have been a symbol of high status, worn by elites in life and death. These dresses were typically worn over a shift made of linen as, despite their visual appeal, the bead-net design would make direct skin contact uncomfortable.

The Bead-net Dress, Qau is well-preserved and its original design is evident despite some signs of aging. This artifact is an important representation of high-quality beadwork and textile craftsmanship during the Middle Kingdom era and substantially contributes to understanding the visual arts of the period.

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology