Seen around The 6th Century AD, The “Loros” was a common feature in Byzantine clothing among Royalty. The component developed from The earlier Roman Paludamentum Cloak worn by several Classes of High-ranking Roman Officers and Administrators. Similar to another (and often called piece known as a “Diadema”), these pieces were between 15 and 20-feet in length.
The Loros was wrapped around the upper body of The Emperor or Royal Family member, often using a “criss crossing” or “X” pattern over the Chest. The wrapping terminated on the left hand hand side, from which any excess was “carried” by the hand or thus draped.
Much like England’s Medieval “Anglagorium” Beadwork, The Byzantine Loros took many months to construct and sew using the same methods of fine, hand-crafted beads, jewels and carefully placed Silver and Gold stretched wiring. Often religious imagery was placed on The Loros (early). Purple and Gold (seen as Royal Colors) – were the basic color foundations used.
Originally reserved for Male Royalty, by the 9th Century BC, Female members were allowed to wear them as well. By the 11th Century, The Loros was adopted by The Eastern Rite Church Clergy as a form of Clerical Vestment. Few examples exist, as The Loros was often buried with it’s Wearer – or many were looted from The Dead when The Turks invaded much of The Empire by the 15th Century.