History of Fashion – The Scarf

CORBIS

Before becoming a fashion statement and a garment used for extra warmth, the scarf  represented social status and was used in the military as well as in politics.

The sculptures of Chinese warriors from 1000BC show us that these soldiers also donned scarves as a symbol of rank.

Back in Ancient Egypt, Queen Nefertiti is very likely one of the first to wear a scarf beneath her headdress.

Moving to Ancient Rome, scarves were used by men as sweat cloths. They were worn around the neck, over the shoulder or tied around the waist and came in handy to wipe sweat from the neck or face after physical labour.

In the 17th century, it was the turn of Croatian soldiers to don scarves as a symbol of rank. Lower ranking soldiers wore cotton scarves, while those from higher rankings, wore expensive silk ones.

By the 18th century, the French referred to them as cravats and produced them in various colourful designs. They also wore scarves of specific hues when it came to showing political support.

In New England, scarves were handed out to friends and community members during a funeral, by the family of the deceased.

By the 19th century, the scarf takes its place among the fashion staples, acting as an accessory to be worn around the neck, the face or waist. Today, scarves are as popular as ever and are used during the cold winter months, as well as when the weather is quite mild.

 

References: www.scarves.net/blog/the-history-of-scarves-a-timeline/ 
www.scarves.net/blog/scarves-history-the-evolution-of-the-scarf