So the nights are getting darker and it is getting towards that time of year again. No not the festive season the season where we can’t leave the house without wrapping ourselves up in ten or more layers. Winter is well and truly here.
So what better way to welcome Jack Frost than with a bit of scarf trivia? Yes there is far more to the humble scarf than just the ability to keep your neck warm. In the past it has been worn by armies, brightened up a snowman, kept you clean and even served as a murder weapon…
At Smart Turnout we proudly present to you everything you ever wanted to know about scarves but were too afraid to ask. Take a seat by a fireplace and enjoy.
So who invented scarves?
No one really knows who is responsible for the creation of the scarf. It is believed they originated from Ancient Rome and the purpose of them was to keep clean. Their original name was “sudarium” which is latin for Sweat cloth. And yes the old forms of scarves were as appealing as their names suggest… The scarves were used to wipe sweat from ones face when it got hot.
So when did scarves become known for more than keeping your face clean?
Some form of the scarf was around soldier’s neck for protection from the cold while conquering parts of Europe. Roman soldiers wore red scarves to identify their ranks. After the fall of Rome empire, the scarves lived on to be worn by Romanian and Croatian soldiers. When the Croatian army came to Paris in 1648 cheering their victory over Turks every soldier wore a scarf. However, the scarves they wore were nothing like the ones you see today and most closely resembled cravats.
So wait a minute… Cravats became scarves?
Yes and no – there was a split if you like. These cravats becoming popular lead to more and more designs emerging. On seeing the cravats on the Croation army Louis XIV of France like them so much he hired a scarf maker to sit in his court. He also decided scarves should be used to display one’s royalty – a phase that luckily for us scarf lovers never really caught on. Over the years scarves become more and more popular both for adornment and for the more practical purpose of protection from the cold. In the 19th century scarves and cravats had become so different that a new name was created for the scarf cache Nez, which literally translates to “hiding the nose”.
And when did they become so colorful?
From the 19th century, it was popular to use the scarf to show one’s political leanings. Rumours that this was used to penalized dinner party guests when they attempted to talk about politics are unfounded.