Queen Nefertiti, known for her beauty and brains, was also known for bringing about a modern accessory in trend – the scarf. As far back as 1300 BC, Queen Nefertiti wore a scarf-like fabric under her iconic cone shaped head dress. A scarf is a piece of fabric made from cotton, silk, wool, or other material, and it is worn around the neck for warmth, protection from sun, religious purposes, or fashion.
Around 1000 BC, the scarf was also used as a sign of military distinction during the Qin She Huang’s reign in China, where the warrior’s station could be determined by his uniform which included scarves. After the Chinese, the scarf was used by people for cleanliness in ancient Rome around 10 AD. Called a “sudarium”, they used it while working in the hot weather to wipe off sweat. It was also a part of formal attire for the court ceremonials.
Closer to the 17th century, the scarf, in the form of a cravat, was used more as a fashion item than a functional one. Cravats were cut from a long strip of white fabric, typically embroidered or laced. Quite popular during the French Revolution, it grew in size and extravagance as time went by. Its color was also a demonstration of allegiance to a certain side. It is said that Napoleon Bonaparte sent cashmere scarves from India to his wife Josephine
. It is also said that the Third Duke of Krakow supposedly created the first knit scarf. But it was during the Victorian era that the scarf actually became popular. Queen Victoria was often seen wearing silk scarves. It became popular with nobility and later percolated down to other classes.
The first luxury silk scarf was created by Thierry Hermes
in the early 1900s. In 1937, Hermes’ company purchased raw silk directly from China which was then woven into high quality fabric that was twice as strong and much heavier than other scarves and also came with prints. Hermes’ first printed scarf design featured two women in white wigs playing a game. Interestingly, it required 43 screens to get the exquisite color effects. Soon after, rayon was invented, making it economically easier for mass production of scarves. From then on scarves became a staple accessory for fashion and function.
The scarf is one versatile accessory. Be it the indulgent wives’ pashmina, the alluring silk, or the trendy rayon, the scarf can be used as a fashion statement, a belt, a wrist tie or a handbag accessory. Find your perfect piece at Beverlyheels.com.