Scarf

A scarf, plural scarves, is a piece of fabric worn around the neck for warmth, sun protection, cleanliness, fashion, or religious reasons. They can be made in a variety of different materials such as wool, cashmere, linen or cotton. It is a common type of neckwear. Scarfs can be tied in many ways including the pussy-cat bow, the square knot, the cowboy bib, the ascot knot, the loop, the necktie, and the gypsy kerchief. In cold climates, a thick knitted scarf, often made of wool, is tied around the neck to keep warm. This is usually accompanied by a heavy jacket or coat. In drier, dustier warm climates, or in environments where there are many airborne contaminants, a thin headscarf, kerchief, or bandanna is often worn over the eyes and nose and mouth to keep the hair clean. Over time, this custom has evolved into a fashionable item in many cultures, particularly among women. The cravat, an ancestor of the necktie and bow tie, evolved from scarves of this sort in Croatia. In India, woollen scarfs with Bandhani work are becoming very popular. Bandhani or Bandhej is the name of the tie and dye technique used commonly in Bhuj and Mandvi of the Kutch District of Gujarat State. Scarves that are used to cover the lower part of the face are sometimes called a muffler. Scarves can be colloquially called a neck-wrap.

The 1890s were exciting, prosperous and ground-breaking times in the history of women’s fashion. Women were increasingly involved in the world of business, finance and the stock market. Income earning working women were able to enjoy more time for leisure and sport and this spawned a booming entertainment industry. Sporting activities traditionally the domain of men, such as tennis, bicycling and golf lead to dramatic wardrobe changes. Hats replaced large ungainly bonnets, and scarves became fashionable, often worn over a hat. This was often a look sported by women while engaged in outdoor activities. A scarf ring was one way to secure the scarf in place. Today, Scarf Rings of silver, gold, mother of pearl, horn and many other materials are used by women all over the world to personalise their scarves, to fix or adorn the scarf. Scarf Rings serve both a decorative and practical function.

The craft of knitting garments such as scarves is an important trade in some countries. Hand-knitted scarves are still common as gifts as well. Printed scarves are additionally offered internationally through high fashion design houses. Among the latter are Burberry, Missoni, Alexander McQueen, Cole Haan, Chanel, Etro, Lanvin, Hermès, Nicole Miller, Ferragamo, Emilio Pucci, Dior, Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Prada. There are three basic scarf shapes: square, triangular and rectangular. The main manufacturer of fashion scarves used today is China, with India, Hong Kong and Indonesia close behind. The most common materials used to make fashion scarves are silk, fleece, and pashmina or other cashmere wool.