Cravat


Cravat
Croatian baroque poet Ivan Gundulić; the oldest known portrait with a cravat, 1622[1]

The cravat is a neckband, the forerunner of the modern tailored necktie and bow tie, originating from 17th-century Croatia.[2]

From the end of the 16th 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 16th 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 cravats were initially worn to hide shirts which were not immaculately clean.[3]

History

Croatian soldier with a cravat, 17th century
French king Louis XIV with an early cravat in 1667
A Regency style neckcloth tied in a bow on a Grafton collar
An image from the 1818 Neckclothitania demonstrating different cravat knots

The cravat originated in the 1630s; like most men's fashions between the 17th century and World War I, it was of military origin. In the reign of Louis XIII of France, Croatian mercenaries[4] were enlisted into a regiment supporting the King and Cardinal Richelieu against the Duc de Guise and the Queen Mother, Marie de Medici. The traditional Croat military kit aroused Parisian curiosity about the unusual, picturesque scarves distinctively knotted at the Croats' necks; the cloths that were used, ranged from the coarse cloths of enlisted soldiers, to the fine linens and silks of the officers. The sartorial word "cravat" derives from the French "cravate," a corrupt French pronunciation of "Croat" — in Croatian, "Hr̀vāt".

Considering the interdependence of many European regions (particularly the French) with the Venetian Republic, which occupied most of Croatia's coast, and the word's uncertain philologic origin, the new male neckdress was known as a cravate. The French readily switched from old-fashioned starched linen ruffs to the new loose linen and muslin cravates; the military styles often had broad, laced edges, while a gentleman's cravat could be of fine lace. As an extreme example of the style, the sculptor Grinling Gibbons carved a realistic cravat in white limewood which is now on display at Chatsworth House.

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". (Randle Holme, Academy of Armory and Blazon, 1688.)

During the wars of Louis XIV of 1689–1697, 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, itself, was referred to as a "tie".

References

  1. ^ Academia Cravatica
  2. ^ Academia Cravatica Website
  3. ^ Coffignon, A. (1888). Paris vivant. Les coulisses de la mode p.104. La librairie illustrée, Paris
  4. ^ Cravat, die Krawatte

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cravat — Cra*vat (kr? v?t ), n. [F. cravate, fr. Cravate a Croat, an inhabitant of Croatia, one of a body of Austrian troops, from whom, in 1636, this article of dress was adopted in France.] A neckcloth; a piece of silk, fine muslin, or other cloth, worn …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cravat — 1650s, from Fr. cravate (17c.), from Cravate Croatian, from Ger. Krabate, from Serbo Cr. Hrvat a Croat (see CROAT (Cf. Croat)). Cravats came into fashion 1650s in imitation of linen scarves worn by Croatian mercenaries in the French army in the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • cravat — ► NOUN ▪ a strip of fabric worn by men round the neck and tucked inside an open necked shirt. ORIGIN French cravate, from Cravate Croat , because of the scarves worn by Croatian mercenaries in 17th century France …   English terms dictionary

  • cravat — [krə vat′] n. [Fr cravate < Cravate, Croat, Croatian < Ger Krawat, dial. form of Kroat < Croatian Hrvat: so applied in Fr in reference to scarves worn by Croatian soldiers] 1. a neckerchief or scarf 2. a necktie …   English World dictionary

  • Cravat — Nick Cravat (* 11. Januar 1912 in New York City; † 29. Januar 1994 in Woodland Hills, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Filmschauspieler, lebenslanger Freund und Trapez Partner von Burt Lancaster, mit dem er als „Lang and Cravat“ in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • cravat — ascot ascot n. [from the fashionable clothjing worn at the Ascot races.] a cravat with wide square ends, tied so that the ends are laid flat; the ends are often secured with an ornamental pin; called {cravat} in Britain. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cravat — UK [krəˈvæt] / US noun [countable] Word forms cravat : singular cravat plural cravats a wide piece of cloth that a man wears round his neck inside the collar of his shirt …   English dictionary

  • cravat — [[t]krəvæ̱t[/t]] cravats N COUNT A cravat is a piece of folded cloth which a man wears wrapped around his neck …   English dictionary

  • cravat — noun Etymology: French cravate, from Crabate, Cravate Croatian Date: circa 1656 1. a band or scarf worn around the neck 2. necktie …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cravat — /kreuh vat /, n. 1. necktie (defs. 1, 2). 2. a cloth, often made of or trimmed with lace, worn about the neck by men esp. in the 17th century. 3. Med. a bandage made by folding a triangular piece of material into a band, used temporarily for a… …   Universalium


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