Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cravat, An 18th Century Fashion Statement

       
Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) wears a swoon-worthy cravat.
        Whether dressed for a special occasion or for work or labor, men of the 18th century almost always wore a neckcloth.
        Called cravats, neckerchiefs, jabots, and neckties, they were most often made of white linen (usually 9” by 60” inches) that could be adorned with lace, fringe, or knots, and were worn loosely tied around the neck. Cravats first came into fashion in the mid-17 century.
        Neckclothitania, a pamphlet published in 1818, pictured popular ways of tying men’s neckwear. According to the author, there were many ways of tying a cravat and he had only intended “to merely give a slight sketch … of a dozen or so most in use.”

        There’s a fantastic Youtube video done by Jas Townsend and Son that describes the different styles of cravats, how to make them, and tie them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFAD1dAa2WQ
        Also, I found a site, Art, Beauty and Well-ordered Chaos, that has a post “How to Make an 18th Century Jabot. http://artbeautyandwell-orderedchaos.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-to-make-18th-century-jabot-stock-or.html
        Both of these sites are worth a visit.

Susan F. Craft is the author of The Chamomile, a SIBA award-winning Revolutionary War novel. She is represented by Linda S. Glaz, Hartline Literary Agency.

7 comments:

  1. Awesome, and yes, he worth a faint or two!

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    1. Agree, Linda. He is a beautiful man.

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  2. It is amazing how "neckware" has changed. I think it would be fair to say that unless it is a bow tie, most men use the Windsor Knot or have an Ascot now and only vary their style with pattern/fabric of their ties. Those pictures of the different knots were great. I never realized the cravat could be tied so many different ways (and those were only a slight example). Now I understand why men began to cringe at the thought of "attaching" their collars. I can't even wear a turtleneck without feeling like I am being choked.

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    1. Dora, I enjoy researching and coming across historical tidbits like I used in my post. I'm with you about turtlenecks. Ugh.

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  3. Very interesting. In one of my books, I have my hero go to YouTube to figure out how to tie a bowtie.

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    1. Patricia, glad you liked the post. That's funny about your hero. What's the name of the book?

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  4. I'm glad I didn't have to wear a "neck tie" like that one. My claustrophobia kicked into overdrive!

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