Cravat

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Cravat as worn in the 20th century Cravat (clothing).jpg
Cravat as worn in the 20th century

The cravat ( /krəˈvæt/ ) is a neckband, the forerunner of the modern tailored necktie and bow tie, originating from a style worn by members of the seventeenth-century military unit known as the Croats. [1]

Necktie clothing item, traditionally worn by boys and men with dress shirt

A necktie, or simply a tie, is a long piece of cloth, worn, usually by men, for decorative purposes around the neck, resting under the shirt collar and knotted at the throat.

Bow tie variety of necktie

The bow tie is a type of necktie. A modern bow tie is tied using a common shoelace knot, which is also called the bow knot for that reason. It consists of a ribbon of fabric tied around the collar of a shirt in a symmetrical manner so that the two opposite ends form loops.

Croats (military unit) military unit

The Croats or Crabats were 17th-century light cavalry forces comparable to the Hussars. The Croats were initially irregular units loosely organized in bands. The first regular Croat regiment was established in 1625.

Contents

From the end of the sixteenth century, the term band applied to any long-strip neckcloth that was not a ruff. The ruff, a starched, pleated white linen strip, originated earlier in the sixteenth century as a neckcloth (readily changeable, to minimize the soiling of a doublet), as a bib, or as a napkin. A band could be either a plain, attached shirt collar or a detachable "falling band" that draped over the doublet collar. It is possible that initially, cravats were worn to hide soil on shirts. [2] Alternatively, it was thought to serve as psychological protection of the neck during battle from attack by a spear.

Ruff (clothing) Tightly gathered collar set into formal or informal pleats

A ruff is an item of clothing worn in Western, Central and Northern Europe from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-seventeenth century.

Linen textile made from spun flax fiber

Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fiber is very strong, absorbent and dries faster than cotton. Garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot and humid weather.

Doublet (clothing) garment worn by men from the 15th to the 17th century

A doublet is a man's snug-fitting jacket that is shaped and fitted to the man's body which was worn in Spain and was spread to Western Europe from the late Middle Ages up to the mid-17th century. The doublet was hip length or waist length and worn over the shirt or drawers. Until the end of the 15th century, the doublet was usually worn under another layer of clothing such as a gown, mantle, overtunic or jerkin when in public.

History

Emanuel de Geer wearing a military sash over a buff jerkin and sporting a cravat with it in 1656, portrait by Bartholomeus van der Helst Bartholomeus van der Helst - Portrait of Emanuel de Geer.jpg
Emanuel de Geer wearing a military sash over a buff jerkin and sporting a cravat with it in 1656, portrait by Bartholomeus van der Helst

According to the 1828 encyclopedic The art of tying the cravat: demonstrated in sixteen lessons, the Romans were the first to wear knotted kerchiefs around their neck, but the modern version of the cravat (French: la cravate) originated in the 1660s. During the reign of Louis XIV of France, Croatian mercenaries were enlisted in 1660 wearing a necktie called a tour de cou. [3] The traditional Croat military kit aroused Parisian curiosity about the unusual, picturesque scarves distinctively knotted at the Croats' necks:

Louis XIV of France King of France and Navarra, from 1643 to 1715

Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power.

Mercenary Soldier who fights for hire

A mercenary, sometimes known as a soldier of fortune, is an individual who takes part in military conflict for personal profit, is otherwise an outsider to the conflict, and is not a member of any other official military. Mercenaries fight for money or other forms of payment rather than for political interests. Beginning in the 20th century, mercenaries have increasingly come to be seen as less entitled to protections by rules of war than non-mercenaries. Indeed, the Geneva Conventions declare that mercenaries are not recognized as legitimate combatants and do not have to be granted the same legal protections as captured service personnel of a regular army. In practice, whether or not a person is a mercenary may be a matter of degree, as financial and political interests may overlap, as was often the case among Italian condottieri.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

"In 1660 a regiment of Croats arrived in France — a part of their singular costume excited the greatest admiration, and was immediately and generally imitated; this was a tour de cou , made (for the private soldiers) of common lace, and of muslin or silk for the officers ; the ends were arranged en rosette , or ornamented with a button or tuft, which hung gracefully on the breast. This new arrangement, which confined the throat but very slightly, was at first termed a Croat, since corrupted to Cravat. The Cravats of the officers and people of rank were extremely fine, and the ends were embroidered or trimmed with broad lace ; those for the lower classes were subsequently made of cloth or cotton, or at the best of black taffeta, plaited: which was tied round the neck by two small strings." [3]

Prominent early champions of the style were:

William III of England 17th-century Stadtholder, Prince of Orange and King of England, Scotland and Ireland

William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from the 1670s and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known as "King Billy" in Northern Ireland and Scotland, where his victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is still commemorated by Unionists and Ulster loyalists.

John II Casimir Vasa King of Poland

John II Casimir was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania during the era of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Duke of Opole in Upper Silesia, and titular King of Sweden 1648–1660. In Poland, he is known and commonly referred as Jan Kazimierz. His parents were Sigismund III Vasa (1566–1632) and Constance of Austria (1588–1631). His older brother, and predecessor on the throne, was Władysław IV Vasa.

Often the Dubrovnik poet Ivan Gundulic is credited with the invention of the cravat, due to a portrait hanging in the Rector's Palace, Dubrovnik. The scholar depicted in the painting looks very much like the frontispiece to his Osman published in 1844. However, considering the hairstyle, this portrait is more probably a later portrait of his namesake Dživo (Ivan) Šiškov Gundulić, also a Dubrovnik poet. In their honor, Croatia celebrates Cravat Day on October 18. [4]

Dubrovnik City in Dubrovnik-Neretva, Croatia

Dubrovnik is a city on the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Its total population is 42,615. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.

Rectors Palace, Dubrovnik

The Rector's Palace is a palace in the city of Dubrovnik that used to serve as the seat of the Rector of the Republic of Ragusa between the 14th century and 1808. It was also the seat of the Minor Council and the state administration. Furthermore, it housed an armoury, the powder magazine, the watch house and a prison.

Croatia sovereign republic in Southeast Europe

Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the southeast, sharing a maritime border with Italy. Its capital, Zagreb, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with twenty counties. Croatia has an area of 56,594 square kilometres and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics.

On returning to England from exile in 1660, Charles II imported with him the latest new word in fashion: "A cravatte is another kind of adornment for the neck being nothing else but a long towel put about the Collar, and so tyed before with a Bow Knott; this is the original of all such Wearings; but now by the Art and Inventions of the seamsters, there is so many new ways of making them, that it would be a task to name, much more to describe them". [5]

During the wars of Louis XIV of 16891697, except for court, the flowing cravat was replaced with the more current, and equally military, "Steinkirk", named after the Battle of Steenkerque in 1692. The Steinkirk was a long, narrow, plain or lightly-trimmed neckcloth worn with military dress, wrapped once about the neck in a loose knot, with the lace of fringed ends twisted together and tucked out of the way into a button-hole, either of the coat or the waistcoat. The steinkirk was popular with men and women until the 1720s.

The maccaronis reintroduced the flowing cravat in the 1770s, and the manner of a man's knotting became indicative of his taste and style, to the extent that after the Battle of Waterloo (1815) the cravat began to be referred to as a "tie".

Steinkirk

A Steinkirk was a type of cravat designed to be worn in deliberate disarray. The fashion apparently began after troops at the Battle of Steenkerque in 1692 had no time to tie their cravats properly before going into action. Colley Cibber's play The Careless Husband (1704) had a famous Steinkirk Scene.

See also

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Neckwear refers to various styles of clothing worn around the (human) neck. They are worn for fashion, combat, or protection against the influences of weather. Common neckwear today includes bow ties, neckties (cravat), scarves, feather boas and shawls. Historically, ruffs and bands were worn.

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References

  1. Frucht 2004, p. 457.
  2. Coffignon, A. (1888). Paris vivant. Les coulisses de la mode p.104. La librairie illustrée, Paris
  3. 1 2 The art of tying the cravat: demonstrated in sixteen lessons, by H. Le Blanc, 1828
  4. Heather Horn (October 18, 2012). "The Tie Is a Very Big Deal in Croatia". The Atlantic Cities. Atlantic Media Company . Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  5. Randle Holme, Academy of Armory and Blazon, 1688.

Sources