Neckties, a History

By: Robert Kelsey..

When it comes to the history of the necktie this is an article of clothing which has been around in many disguises for many centuries now. However it was not until the middle part of the 19th Century that the neckties we see men wearing today were created.
In this article we will look at some of the main stages that the neckties have been through. Although there are images depicting the ancient Egyptian's, Chinese and Romans wearing pieces of cloth around their necks these did not actually resemble what we see as the contemporary neckties men wear today.
The first types of neckties were worn by Croatian mercenaries during the Thirty Years War that took place between 1618 and 1648. However what they wore were small knotted neckerchiefs around their necks and it was this that set the trend for both men and women to wear pieces of fabric around the neck.
It was in the latter part of the 17th Century that a new neck wear item became fashionable with men namely the lace cravat. Which not only needed a lot of time and effort being spent on arranging it and in order to help keep it in place string would be used to secure it.
However during the Battle of Steenkerque in 1692 because the princes were rushing to get ready for battle rather than spending hours sorting out their cravats they just wound them around the neck. They would then twist each end of the fabric together and then pass these through a buttonhole in their jacket. These types of cravats a precursor for the necktie were often referred to as Steinkirks.
Through the next 100 years or so the cravat was replaced by the stock, which was originally some muslin cloth that be folded into a narrow band and which then would be wound around the collar of a shirt a few times. However, although stocks remained prevalent towards the end of the 18th Century the cravat began to make a return and was being worn by young Englishmen and Frenchmen.
However it was the industrial revolution which helped with the creation of the kinds of neckties we see people wearing today. Through the late part of the 19th Century and early part of the 20th Century men wanted to wear some form of necktie that would be comfortable, could be put on easily and wouldn't come undone during the day.
It was during this part of the history of the necktie that the long thin design was introduced which was easy for any man to knot. However it was a New York tie maker who came up with the necktie that has more elasticity to it which meant the tie would return to its original shape after being taken off. Since this development and the work done by a company in Belfast that the ties of varying shapes, sizes and designs are being worn today.

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