Examples of appliqué have been recorded from various archaeological sites throughout Egypt. Most notably, appliqués were found in the tomb of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun (d. 1323 BC). These pieces include a panel, probably for the front of a tunic (see illustration), the ‘king's wings,’ as well as a small embroidered leopard skin in linen, which was used by the king when he was carrying out his role as a priest.
All of the appliqués from the tomb of Tutankhamun were made from either red or blue linen cloth on either a white or dark red ground. There is no direct evidence to show exactly how all the appliqués were made, but at least two techniques could be identified. The first uses rolls of very fine even weave linen, which were sewn down directly onto the ground material. This technique is seen on a child’s tunic worn by the young king and was used for an elaborate, decorative appliqué collar that was made in imitation of a beaded version.
A second technique used a piece of material that was cut out and then trimmed, nicked and tucked under in order to create the desired shape. This process is still used by Egyptian appliqué makers in Cairo to the present day. This form was probably used for the child’s leopard skin from the Tutankhamun’s tomb, which has applied linen roundels underneath five-pointed stars (the so-called night stars) and on top of the falcon's feathers. The appliqué falcon and vultures decorating the ‘king’s wings’ and the design on the tunic panel (see illustration) were also made with this technique