The humble scarf has been in existence since the Stone Age when the ancient Egyptians used it to keep warm. Yet, what many people do not know is that the history of scarves is extremely rich and varied. The different materials, shapes, and patterns can be traced back to different periods across all corners of the globe.
Scarves seem like an ordinary article of clothing, but they’ve had a massive influence on pop culture while also setting trends wherever they went.
It was in the 19th century when scarves became popular in the fashion industry as an accessory. The change happened due to fashion designers who saw the potential to capitalize on the fabrics and designs from various regions in the world.
It was Hermes who first came out with a ready-to-wear graphic silk scarf in 1837. Shortly after that, Europe and America’s fashion industry embraced scarves after Queen Victoria sat on her throne with a silk cravat that featured graphic prints. Since then, the designs and fabrics denoted class ranking and symbolized good fashion sense.
In the 19th century, cashmere shawls came into the market, in which the famous Paisley pattern was popularized in Bonaparte. Bonaparte was home to thousands of weavers and they became even more popular when Queen Victoria bought a shawl in 1842.
Silk fabrics emerged in the west, along with improvements in manufacturing methods. Therefore, clothing brands started to produce silk accessories, such as Liberty of London, which was a hit during the post-war years.
Hermes also started importing Chinese silk that is woven into square scarves that are so luxurious. Even until now, the designs of their scarves are still almost the same.
As scarves became popular, a lot of manufacturers started to explore various types of fabrics, such as cloth, cashmere, silk, cotton, wool mixes, modal, and muslin. It is believed that the original scarves were designed with wool fibers, and the more polished versions were manufactured using Chinese silk.
Through the most part of the 19th century, most scarves have the same or similar patterns and graphics. In the 20th century, Hermes started producing embellished designs on their silk scarves.
Today, a lot of high-end fashion designers collaborate with innovative designers to create unique scarf prints.
We live in a technologically advanced world, it has touched the fashion industry. With that, technology will be woven into scarves that will produce more innovative designs. Therefore, scarves will continue to evolve and will remain at the forefront of fashion in the years to come.
The history of the scarf is long and puzzling. From ancient nomadic tribes to modern-day fashion, the scarf has been a staple of human civilization for thousands of years. You can never have too much info when it comes to understanding the history of scarves. The history will make you want to wear your scarf in a very fashionable way.
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