Neckwear was an important accessory in the Edwardian era. Jabots, collars, ties and scarfs lend variety to the severe shirtwaist, add a splash of color to dark wool dresses and help to keep the dress clean. Collars were usually detachable in the Edwardian era, ‘since the collar soils so much sooner than the waist.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1907)
Most store-bought neckwear was expensive in the Edwardian era, so it was recommended to make lace jabots and collars at home with lace and fabric scraps.
Homemade Edwardian Neckwear
‘Three girls were walking together through the shopping district, stopping now and then to look in at the most temptingly arranged windows. The displays of neckwear especially seemed to attract them as well as most of the other shoppers, for in front of these windows women were clustered as thick as bees around a hive.
“Don’t they have the prettiest things,” said one of the three girls. “If only all this neckwear wasn’t so expensive. […] I’ve nearly become bankrupt this season buying collars and jabots, and yet I haven’t had as many or as pretty ones as Josephine. How have you managed to do it Jo on the same monthly allowance as mine?”
“Well, for one thing,” returned the girl addressed, “I haven’t bought a single piece of neckwear this season, with the exception of some turnover collars; all the rest I have made myself […] I had a lot of scraps of embroidery and lace left over from summer gowns and Christmas gifts, just as every girl has […] Then I bought half a yard of sheer handkerchief linen and half a yard of heavier linen for the tailored effects. You know I have a habit of saving almost everything, and you’ve no idea how conveniently things come in after a while. […]
Six of the smaller medallions I pinned out flat on a piece of brown paper and then dyed or rather just painted them with thin oil color the same shade but much lighter than some scraps of old blue linen my sister had left from a last season’s dress. Then I painted narrow Irish edging to match the medallions and made a shaped stock collar and pleated jabot which are among the gems of my collection.
I found that very small linen handkerchiefs or hemstitched handkerchief centers could be made into dainty pleated jabots. Some had embroidered designs in the corners and needed no other decoration, but into the plain ones I set strips of insertion and bordered them with lace.
Among my scraps of embroidery was one with heavy leaf forms; these I cut apart and appliqued to the edges of a double tab, and finished the uncompleted stems with working cotton. I cut out several other embroideries in the same way and arranged them so that they formed attractive ties and jabots. […]
the simplest of my jabots, though not the least attractive, I made of pieces of sheer linen – pointed at the bottom and narrowing toward the top, measuring about 12 inches across their greatest width. Into these I set a row or two of insertion parallel with their lower edges, and bordered them all around with lace; then I laid in either two or three fan shaped pleats on each side, turning toward the center.”
“Did you do all of this by hand?” asked one of the girls. “I suppose so, for I’ve often noticed how neat and “hand made” your things invariably look.”
“No,” answered the other. “I use a fine cotton, No. 100 or 120, and a very small stitch on the machine, whenever I feel sure the effect will be just the same as with hand sewing, and it saves an enormous amount of time. For instance, setting insertion into material is a laborious process by hand but I just baste it on, stitch close to the edge on both sides with my fine cotton, then slit the goods open underneath, crease it back on each side, stitch again directly over the other stitching and trim the raw edges close. This is just as neat as hand work and about a tenth of the labor. On a great many of my tabs and jabots into which lace was set I worked a little hand embroidery, dots or eyelets or a few tiny flowers and leaves; it took only a short time to do it, and the effect in every case was immensely improved.
To wear with all of these jabots and tabs I bought a dozen of the stiff turnover collars, some quite elaborate and others rather plain; then I made a number of stock collars, and several of the pretty and comfortable Dutch collars, using insertion and linen or insets of lace and embroidery’. (San Francisco Call, 1909)
‘Other things may in an emergency be slighted, but to a becoming summer costume appropriate collars, cuffs and belts are absolutely essential. […] Quantity is as important, too, as quality, because collars wilting and drooping under the summer heat and tumbled cuffs looking as if they were two days old will go far toward spoiling the appearance of any costume.
On the other hand, a quite plain and unpetentious costume may be redeemed by these important parts of it. For example, a perfectly simple dress of linen or duck will be made to appear not only appropriate, but really attractive and stylish by embroidered collar, cuffs and belt, all to match, and that, too, at very little expense. […] it is absolutely decreed this year that sets must match – that is, the belt, the collar and the cuffs must all be of the same design. In one of the illustrations the design is of French dots and fleurs-de-lis, and the result is a very attractive set for an outing suit. […]
Many shirt waists this year are made with regular collars of lace or embroidery to match the waist, and with a little ruche of lace at the top. But with plainer and every day waists the collar must generally be supplied. White is always in good taste and always washes better than color. In France it is the fashion to wear stiff linen turnover collars, which are generally embroidered at each corner, but toned over with two fancy buttons or studs. These studs are frequently turquoise. These collars are often worn with chiffon and thin fluffy waists, producing an effect that is not only soft and pretty, but very smart. […]
With some of the soft collars it may be necessary to wear an under-collar. An extremely nice under-collar is one called the “Phyllis,” which is made of mousseline de soie and featherbone. It is very thin, invisible and will hold up the outer or real collar excellently and will entirely relieve that bedraggled look which a crushed and wilted collar conveys. This ought to be borne in mind, as it means a great deal to the summer girl to have her neck look neat, and soft collars will not stay up very well in the hot weather.’ (San Francisco Call, 1905)
The ‘great art [in making collars] is to make them as high and no higher than they are needed. It is a great mistake to have them so that they turn down in wear.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1899) ‘Sew a button on the neckband of a shirtwaist at the back instead of making a buttonhole there. Have the button the size of a collar stud. It will always be there when wanted, and will not press on the back of the neck as a collar button does.’ (The Fairmont West Virginian, 1909)
Embroidered Turn-Over Collars
‘Turnover collars this year are very much embroidered, and the favorites seem to be those with the “Mont Mellick” embroidery. This particular embroidery is very effective, as it is heavy and stands out in relief on the linen. Our illustration of the big turnovor collar is a photograph of one of the daintiest collars I have seen this season. The top is made of very thin linen, with embroidered flowers and buttonholes – and the bottom is knifeplaited lawn edged with lace. On a fine French waist it has a very dainty appearance. […]
Collars are often made of the same material as the waist, in which case it is desirable to have little turnover collars on them. If the waist be white and made of linen a plain white collar, embroidered either in white or color, should be worn with it. In one of the illustrations a turn-over collar and turnback cuffs can be seen. This set is made of fine lawn and the dots are embroidered in pink, which gives a very pretty effect on a white dress. Be very careful to have the turnover collar neatly fastened in the back, and for this purpose white enameled baby pins are very highly recommended. They always look pretty, and are the simplest and easiest way to attach the collar and cuffs.’ (San Francisco Call, 1905)
‘Linen turn-over collars and cuffs are much worn this season […] To be effective, every portion of the work should be highly raised – that is, padded with filling-cotton. A black outline around each color adds much to the richness of that color. Twisted embroidery-silk is used for the edge, Caspian floss for the solid work of the design, and filo for the outlining. This design may be worked in colored cottons on a white or cream ground; or a blue ground may be used, working the design in white, with the outlining in black.
Another set is of fine handkerchief linen embroidered with tambour-cotton. These fine linen sets are very beautiful when the work is carefully done. The pattern is first padded, then worked over with No. 40 tambour-cotton. The stems are outlined, then worked over and over with very tiny stitches. The dots are raised by working them twice over – first down, then across. Colored tambour-cotton may be used if one prefers it, but the white work is by far the daintiest. […]
One cannot possess too great a supply of collars and cuffs, since this season they are to be worn constantly, and to have them always fresh it is necessary to have many sets. One of the prettiest yet simplest designs for collars and cuffs is a straight edge of solid buttonholing a little over one-eigth of an inch in depth, with picots. Above the buttonholing is a row of large eyelets placed about three fourth of an inch apart. This design may be worked in white or colors. In place of the eyelets, solid dots may be worked with good effect.’ (Los Angeles Herald, November 1904)
Broderie Anglaise Collar
‘The broderie anglaise collar illustrated is a charming gift easily made at home. Such a collar is a dainty and becoming finish to a bodice, but is too expensive when purchased for most of us to indulge in. Yet the design which makes it beautiful is readily worked, and the material only a bit of handkerchief linen exquisite in quality, but too small to be an item of much expense. The collar may be made for $1, and your true needlewoman revels in placing each perfect stitch. The design is a French one carried out in broderie anglaise and all over embroidery. It is cut in three sections. A design of morning glories is drawn in each section and worked with mercerized white cotton in satin stitch. Between this flower pattern are bunches of berries done in eyelet work. The entire collar is buttonholed around.’ (Marin Journal, 1905)
‘In making a cuff and stock set for a friend, work the cut-work design first; then embroider in satin stitch embroidery whatever flowers and leaves then embroider the scallops on the edge, or hemstitch a narrow hem. Such a set is both handsome and useful. The ends of neckties are finished in the same manner. […] In the adornment of silk and cloth dresses cut-work will be so fashionable that the presentation of a dress yoke and cuff pieces to any woman would be a source of joy.’ (Los Angeles Herald, October 1904)
Edwardian Handkerchief Collar
‘Neckwear […] is one of the few articles that one never seems to have quite enough of and never the right one at the right time. The latest in the simple ones are made of gentlemen’s handkerchief and they are not only pretty but are very serviceable as well, which counts for a great deal these days. Buy a kerchief that has a border of some color, for instance a bright red or a pink, and by a little maneuvering you will find that the middle part can be cut out and that there are exactly four small seams to be sewed up and the tie is complete. It takes at the longest probably three quarters of an hour to make, and as the material costs about 23 cent or 18 cents you can easily make a set of three’ (San Francisco Call, December 1903).
‘The handkerchief collar is a thing that will please any member of the fair sex and is as inexpensive as it is easily made. Any handkerchief with a gay border serves the purpose and is all the material necessary. The white center of the handkerchief is used for the plain part of the stock, the foundation of it. Bands of the gay border are cut off and made into turn-overs for the top of the neck. Two corners must be saved intact; these are pleated upon the foundation and brought to the front, crossing so that their points form a fly away at the throat in front.’ (San Francisco Call, 1902)
Embroidered Collar Made Out Of Coarse Material
‘The new art collars and cuffs […] are made out of canvas, or denim, scrim or coarse linen. The coarser the material the better the result. And they are cut in the shape of a wide turn-over band for the neck. And there are wide turn-over cuffs for the wrists. […] The collar and cuffs can be drawn with open work, if desired. But if open work is too difficult or too trying to the eyes, there are other ways of managing.
One lovely pair of […] cuffs is made of very heavy plain white linen, deep and beautiful in texture. Around the edge of the cuffs there is wrought a deep border in the shape of an embroidered scallop, with a design below. This is done in a gaudy red, the brightest possible tone being chosen. The same is done for the collar.
A heavy white, canvas turn-over collar was embroidered with a band of china blue embroidery at least three inches deep and the embroidery was of the coarse kind with long running stitches. The collar was a beauty and now lies in a sachet casket, to come out perfumed on the day of Christmas giving.’ (San Francisco Call, October 1903)
Muslin And Lace Collars
The collar is ‘a happy medium between’ morning and dressy wear. ‘Here there is an under collar of muslin with hemstitched tucks, and a shaped band of black moire or satin with a little bow in front over it. The muslin is rather expensive to buy, for a nice quality material is always needed for neckwear. Only a very small quantity will be required, however, as a piece of plain muslin can be joined on for the lower part. In cutting out the collar leave as wide a piece of muslin beyond the top tuck as the distance between the tucks will allow. Turn this down into a hem, which should be stitched into the row of hemstitching to form two tucks at the edge of the collar, one going up and the other going down.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
‘The muslin collar is taking its place in summer dress, not the flat, wide collar which is worn upon the shirt waist suits, but the fluffy, flappy collar of silk muslin, trimmed with chiffon shirrings and decorated with knots of ribbon, frillings of satin, narrow fringes and what not, for its adornment.
The foundation for these ruffles is always a collar of chiffon which is very deep, coming almost to the shoulders and cut in a circular fashion. It is long in the back and there are broad stole ends. Over the chiffon foundation there is placed a series of chiffon ruffles and ruffles of silk. And in between these there are very narrow bands of black velvet no wider than a straw, and each side of the band of black velvet there may be a fringe or the tiniest of ruchings. The whole makes a very nice ornament for the neck. The shops declare that they cannot keep these fluffy, flappy neck trimmings in stock, so great is the demand and so rapid the sale. No sooner do they arrive than they go out, and the latest cry is for the collarette, all of white.’ (San Francisco Call, June 1903)
‘The neat little white band is seen around the cuff and it is also worn around the neck, where it turns over a ribbon. To make these bands one can take lawn and hemstitch it, but time, if precious, can be better employed on embroideries, for these bands come cheap.’ (San Francisco Call, February 1903)
The tucked muslin collar ‘looks charming and out of the common worn over a black satin frock. It is made from a piece of tucked muslin measuring 10 inches in length and 2 inches in depth. These muslins can be bought by the yard, or the collar can be made by hand, with little insertions of narrow embroidery veining at intervals, and tucks in between. Lace an inch wide is used to go round the edge, of which 24 inches will be required.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Lace Handkerchief Collar
‘The popularity of the lace collar is one which knows no wane, a fact which is accounted for by its daintiness, and the note of distinction which it can confer upon the plainest and most commonplace of dresses. […]
Brussels applique lace, formerly a border to a handkerchief, now forms a collar, the points draping gracefully over the shoulders bequeathed by our mothers or grandmothers there frequently may be found an old lace-trimmed or embroidered handkerchief. The size of such an article differs considerably from that of the 7-inch square of cambric now considered sufficient. The pocket-handkerchiefs of our great – grandmothers were at least 18 to 20 inches square. In still earlier days they were even larger. […]
How to adapt a lace-trimmed handkerchief into a really handsome collar without spoiling the delicate fabric of an old embroidered handkerchief about 18 inches square, it is best to cut it at one corner and remove a small round for the neck, thus fashioning a very handsome collar, with graceful points to drape over the shoulder.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Stock Collar With Crochet Lace
‘Nothing finishes off a blouse or dress, and adds to its appearance more effectively, than smart and well-cut neckwear, yet to keep an unlimited supply of dainty lace jabots and collars always ready for use entails expense. […] The collar shown here is made of clear, stiff muslin, and fine crochet work, which can be laundered as often as required, and will always look neat and pretty.
Most women possess a blouse or bodice with a high-cut collar. Take this, and cut from it a paper pattern, making it a little deeper all round, and with a wider centre frontage. It is not necessary to be afraid of cutting it too deeply, as a large amount of the material is taken up when letting in the crocheted points.
Fold the collar in the centre, and divide the sides into Vandykes, according to the size the crocheted points will require. Turn the muslin back, then tack it down with a fine cotton. Do not cut away the material from the wrong side until the crochet work has been sewn in, after which it can be cut close to the border and the raw edge oversewn, taking in the previous stitches.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Embroidered And Lace Jabots
Jabots ‘are always acceptable [as gifts], for no woman can possibly have too many of them. A few embroidery designs in working size are given in the illustration as a convenience for those who wish to make some of these little gifts. The lawn or linen can be placed over the paper, and the design, which will show through plainly, can be traced with a hard lead pencil; or a sheet of transfer paper can be placed face down on the material and the design laid on top of this and traced with a pencil. The scallop marked No. 1 in the illustration can be used for the edge of a square jabot or for a pointed one by turning it to suit the outline […]
The materials for one of these will cost about 50 cents, and the value of the finished jabot will be several times that. Quarter of a yard of wide lace and half a yard of the narrow will be needed for each jabot, and possibly these materials, or others that will answer, may be found among the odds and ends at home. A great many of the most attractive jabots have an upper embroidered portion, and an under portion made of net and lace which comes down two or three inches below it, like the one shown in the illustration. Sometimes the upper portion is square and the lower portion pointed; sometimes the upper portion is pointed and the lower portion is square, or both upper and lower may follow the same outline. In this way one can get a great variety of effects from the same design or materials.
A quarter of a yard of linen, half a yard of net and a few yards of valenciennes, cluny or Irish lace will be sufficient for four or five jabots, and exceedingly pretty ones, too. One of the newest things is to put three or four tiny buttons or nail heads of jet, pink coral or mother of pearl down the middle of the jabot. Sometimes little bows consisting of two or four bow ends of the same materials and general design as the jabots are made to accompany them. (San Francisco Call, 1909)
‘The jabot frills lend themselves to the using of oddments of real lace. If edging is scarce, the straight hem to which the flounce is sewn can be of real insertion, while the flounce is of cambric or muslin, with a narrow mignonette edge.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
‘Of all accessories to the feminie toilette, few are of more importance than those employed for the dressing of the neck. Just now the average hat is of such unwieldy proportions that it must needs be balanced by neckwear dressing. […]
‘Bebe Irish, point de Venise and Madeira laces edge broadly many of the handsomest of the jabots and rabats made of fine net in sections of from two to four lengths, the tops being composed of all-lace butterfly bows, net-knotted and fastened with tiny safety pins to the hig stocks. Of the same materials are constructed large ties having two square soft loops of the fine net falling over ends, but a trifle longer and edged widely with handsome lace and much applique and Brussels lace is used for neckwear of this character as the weaves harmonize charmingly.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)
Fancy Handkerchief Jabots
‘With very little trouble and a small expenditure of time, the most charming versions of the fashionable jabots and collars can be made out of embroidered handkerchiefs. It is best to choose nice ones of real Irish linen, as the difference in cost is not considerable and the superiority of appearance is great. Sometimes lace-edged handkerchiets are used, at others it is better to purchase the lace and sew on the handkerchiefs as required.
One of the simplest patterns to make is shown in the first illustration. A dainty little handkerchief of fine transparent Irish linen, with a very narrow fancy hemstitched hem, and a lace edge of uncommon pattern, is chosen for it. This is folded slightly on the cross, and cut with one piece about 1 1/4 inches deeper than the other. The pieces are laid one over the other, keeping the edges at exactly even distances, and tacked together with very fine cotton or silk. They are then pleated up in narrow pleats, tacked in position, and ironed. The tacking threads are taken out, and the pleats drawn together in a straight line at the top, and put into a narrow band of muslin 2 1/4 inches long. This will cause the pleats to stand out a little at the lower edge. They will need another pressing with the iron.
Another very pretty jabot and collar (No. 2) is made from an Irish linen handkerchief, with a narrow hemstitched edge, and a decoration of a line of drawn-thread work and border of embroidered shamrocks. Cut off a piece 7 1/2 inches in depth from the handkerchief to form the jabot. Edge this at the sides with narrow Valenciennes lace, and at the lower edge with a wider width of the same lace.
Mitre the lace at the corners. The wide lace should be 1 1/4 inches, and the narrower one five-eights of an inch in width. Fold the handkerchief in fine pleats, about five on each side, going towards the centre. Tack and press these in position, take out the tacking threads, overlap the pleats a little in the centre at the top, and put them into a narrow band of muslin about 2 1/2 inches long. The remaining piece of the handkerchief is used to make the collar. It is cut in half, and the two points faced towards the front. Several rows of the narrow lace are then joined together, and inserted between the pieces of handkerchief in front of the collar as shown in the illustration. The lower edge of the collar is hemmed and a support inserted at the back.
Several variations of this idea may be made. For instance, put one or two rows of lace insertion above the lace edging the jabot, to reach the hemstitching, but do not cut the hem. A real Cluny lace, which is not at all expensive, may be employed in place of Valenciennes. Yet another notion is to use a handkerchief with a scalloped edge, and rather deep embroidery.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
‘One of the prettiest and most quickly made of jabots has for its foundation a hemstitched handkerchief center about eight inches square. This can be bought, but if it is made at home only three sides of the square will need to be hemstitched. A piece of two inch baby Irish lace is sewed across the bottom and a narrow (half inch) edging of the same lace goes down each side, extending to the bottom of the wider lace. In the center of the linen a little design like that marked 4 in the illustration is worked in French and eyelet embroidery. The design runs straight up and down, coming to withing half an inch of the hemstitching at the bottom. Then the jabot is laid in fan shaped pleats, turning toward the center (San Francisco Call, 1909)
‘For this jabot a handkerchief with a very narrow hem-stitching and line of embroidery is taken. A piece 7 1/2 inches long is cut from the handkerchief, and this is cut again right down the centre. A strip of Irish crochet insertion, 2 inches wide and a quarter of a yard long, is sewn between the pieces, with the lower end coming 1 1/2 inches below the edge of the handkerchief. The whole is then bordered with a row of very narrow Valenciennes lace, which is gathered at the corners and around the hanging end of the crochet to make it set. The handkerchief is then folded back in two deep pleats coming under the crochet and in three narrow pleats on each side going towards the centre. After these have been tacked and pressed, the tacking threads should be taken out and the side pleats brought towards the centre, over the crochet insertion. The pleats are then sewn into a narrow band of muslin 3 inches long. Or a white handkerchief may be used, folded into a box-pleat in the centre, and the box-pleat enbroidered by hand in some simple design.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Ribbon, Ties & Stocks
‘A novel collar band emanating from Paris is a stitched plain band of ribbon, passing through a large dull-gold buckle at the throat and finished off in a pointed short tab. It looks well for travelling and morning suits.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1899)
‘A collar-band of dark silk should never be worn against the neck, even if surmounted by a dainty white stock-collar, as the wearing of dark materials next to the skin is apt to discolour it with the dye. Apart from this, on the grounds of cleanliness, even a coloured lace collar should always have a lining of white chiffon that can be constantly changed. A stock-collar should be made up on a band of white muslin, and a silk or ribbon stock put over that.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Ties & Ribbons
‘Made to accompany lace and lingerie stocks are seen ties in infinite variety. One of these is of satin half the height of the collar at the back and separating at the sides into two sections, one forming a double looped flat bow directly in front. The second and lower section of the tie is bowed close to the collar’s lower front edge and from it suspend four long ends, one of which is looped midway of their length. The others terminate irregularly in points caught together with tiny tassel clusters. […]
With the simplest of runabout and traveling mohair, serge and linen costumes, short embroidered muslin ties are worn in connection with the stiff linen collars. Many young girls affect the solid color Windsor ties, which give a note of relief to the dull-hued costumes worn to school, and still others fashion for themselves tiny bows of narrow velvet, satin or taffeta ribbon. These look coquettish as a fastening for a pink, blue or green striped linen collar or at the lower front edge of the lingerie stock worn with the embroidered blouse.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)
‘The Fifth avenue bow, which, during the early winter, was so popular as a shirt waist tie, has been cast off for the new and smart Jenkins bow, now seen in New York shops. The bow consists of one loop and two ends. The ribbon is drawn round in folds before the knot is tied. Some of the made ties open in the back, and the freshness of the ribbon is thus preserved.’ (The Tacoma Times, 1904)
‘A pretty stock can be made of black silk, and embroidered with a salmon colored shade of silk with black outlining. […] For winter wear the silk stock with turn-over collar will be very popular. Black stocks will be worn with the colored shirt-waists. A neat neck-finish for a shirt-waist suit is a silk stock of the same color with a turn-over collar of embroidered linen, lace or hemstitched muslin. A dark or dull-colored gown oftentimes needs just the bit of relieving color afforded by the embroidered collor, with cuffs to match.’ (Los Angeles Herald, November 1904)
‘Stocks have gone out of fashion entirely. The “summer girl” of to-day is no longer a mannish girl, with sleeves rolled up, heavy walking shoes and a man’s stock. This year she is quite a dainty, pink and white and Frenchy girl – all tucks and ruffles, with lace and lace ruches.’ (San Francisco Call, 1905)
‘There is something refreshing about novelties in the way of neckwear for mornings, but it is a point on which we have to be very practical. In the country the question is easily settled by soft detachable white collars worn with knitted silk ties on various shirts. But this rather masculine style is not very suitable for town wear, as it does not look really well out of doors with anything but what the Americans call a “shirt-waist hat.” Nor is the lace jabot appropriate for the early hours of the day.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
‘Stocks grow higher and more elaborate […] Every scrap of real lace that has been wisely hoarded by the thrifty girl against the time when it may be utilized, should now be brought out, washed, bleached and pressed and its adaptability carefully considered. Two utterly different kinds of lace may be made into a stock which should be as high as the length of the throat […] and varied by pointed sides, tall enough to scratch the ear-lobes. These stocks are mounted upon chiffon-covered wired or boned frames and their upper edges finished with white or colored satin or taffeta, according to the character of the costume with which they are to be worn. When it is desirable to have the front of the stock low, it may be curved convexly forward from the ears and then arch toward the back. Or the high stock may be absolutely straight and, like the Gibson types, be of lace insertions, joined beneath biased satin and taffeta strips or of finely tucked net, self-color, satin-edged and trimmed with tiny satin covered buttons.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)
‘It is the day of fluffiness and flying ends […] the matron can also wear the floating ends, the streamers at the back of the neck […] Bishop stocks, demure in front, with the tabs hanging under the chin, are made fluffy in the back by a big bow of tulle, which is as soft and delicate as it can possibly be. […] Bows of tulle, if worn at all, should be worn accurately at the back of the neck or directly under the chin, not put on under one ear, in reckless style. […] There is so much to be worn this summer in the way of frills and small fixings […] and without them one will look so severly old-fashioned that one might as well wear a Quaker’s cap and gown.’ (San Francisco Call, June 1903)
‘The streamer ends are used ‘as a fastening, always directly at the back of the neck, or they are worn separately by being temporarily so attached to the coat collar that the several short loops at the top will fill in the space between the hat brim and the nape of the neck.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)
Fichus & Scarves
‘A sloping shoulder line is once more the accepted standard of beauty. For this reason apparently we are in love with fichus and we are coming to scarves; the fichus are made in batiste, in organdy and in net, and often in flowered muslin but the scarves are mostly white. In Paris they are often made in silk, with fringed ends.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1899)
‘Shoulder scarfs are so popular that a handsome one might be made as a Christmas gift by cutting one out of chiffon and sewing two rows of honiton lace braid around the border and then embroidering a cluster of flowers in satin stitch in each corner.’ (Los Angeles Herald, October 1904)
‘The mull scarfs of the present year of grace are only two yards long by one half wide. They are wound twice about the throat and knotted or bowed in front as fancy may dictate.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)
‘Neckerchiefs are worn again. ‘But here again there is a departure from the real, for the neckerchief is made of sprigged lawn, elaborately trimmed with lace, with open stitching and lace in stripes and with a deal of fagotting between the rows of lace. But when completed it is cast about the shoulders as plainly as possible and caught low upon the bust with a tissue rose, while the ends hang in becoming stoles far below the waist. Again they merely extend waistward where they are finished squarely with lace. […]
The new chou, by the way, is made of tissue roses; suppose three flat roses of tissue and chiffon, all pink and bunched in a little group. From the roses there hang down fifteen little ends of pink ribbon, half an inch wide, of satin, and exactly matching the roses. The ends are from three to six inches long and there is a little knot in the end of each one. This is worn upon the gown, primly in the middle, where it catches a fichu, or jauntily upon the shoulder of the dress.’ (San Francisco Call, June 1903)
‘Feather boas, whether short ostrich tips, marabout or coq, are still much worn and in every hue, and are invaluable accessories for evening as well as street costumes.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)
‘Cuffs must be so made as to fit well. They should always be sewed in, because if they get out of place and become uncertain in their location they give an untidy and shiftless effect. Collars are to be depended upon to stay when securely pinned, but cuffs are not so reasonable. […] Cuffs are made of all kinds of material and in all kinds of shapes. I have seen a great many suits this year with pique collars and cuffs […] attached by buttons […]
Cuffs made with a scalloped edge are attractive and a good example is shown in one of the illustrations. Another of the illustrations shows a set embroidered with fleur-de-lis. This is made of a straight embroidered band, whith a knife-plaited ruffle at the wrist and a ruffle of the same kind, but broader, at the top. This style is especially recommended because it makes the hand look small […]
The real Irish and Cluny lace cuffs are, as may be supposed, very beautiful and extremely rich looking, but they are, of course, so costly as not to be lightly considered. The combination of white linen and Irish lace is a particularly effective one. On dark shirt waist suits perfectly plain turnover collars and cuffs should be worn.’ (San Francisco Call, 1905)
How To Take Care Of The Neckwear
‘There are several wise fashion laws which the woman who is going to dress becomingly would do well to heed, and one of these is that her small finishings shall be immaculate, not only in the matter of cleanliness, but in that of freshness and color as well. The bow of tulle, so charming when newly made, is far from pretty after a day or two; and the little turn-over band which was so exquisite the first day must be renovated before it can be worn a second time. So, too, with the bishop stock, which is so easily wrinkled down and with sash ends that show the wear and tear of one afternoon. All must be more than dainty; and in these days of expensive “littles” this means a great deal. […]
The dressmakers […] are advising many little rules for the preservation of the summer wardrobe. And one of these relates to the bishop stock and its kin, the stock with wide front tabs, and the stock with stole ends hanging down the front. Their rule is that, at night, when tabken off, the stock is slightly moistened with water, and then, while still damp, that it be laid between sheets of heavy paper and put away under a weight. In the morning it will be as smooth as though freely ironed. As for turnovers, they can be treated in the same way, but the bow of tulle is hopelessly gone, after one wearing, unless indeed it can be rejuvenated with magnesia, powdered chalk, or with any of the cleansing stuffs that are scattered upon white goods to take out the stains.’ (San Francisco Call, June 1903)
‘I used linen of either the sheer or the heavy quality for every one of my pieces of neckwear; it launders so much better than cotton and is more satisfactory altogether. Of course, I never trust any of these delicate things to a laundry, but always do them up myself. I use white soap, with a pinch of borax in the water. I soak them in tepid suds for a while, then squeeze the dirt out very gently, but I never rub them. I rinse in three or four lukewarm waters, partially dry them between clean cloths and then press through a cloth while still damp with a hot iron. I use a very heavily padded board and I finish off with the iron directly on the back of the material. Of course I straighten out the lace and embroidery by hand before I press the things. When a little stiffening is needed I use gum arable in the last rinse water.’ (San Francisco Call, 1909)
18 thoughts on “Edwardian Neckwear: Collars, Jabots & Fichus”
I found this post so interesting, Lina. My mother used to talk about her father wearing detachable shirt collars but I never thought about women doing the same thing. I was also fascinated by the variety of collars that women wore. Thank you so much for sharing this post at the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I hope you are having a lovely week!
Thank you so much, April! 🙂 Have a lovely week, too!
This is a wonderful piece of research on the Edwardian costume. I found it fascinating and interesting. thanks for sharing it.
Thanks, Barbara! 🙂
Oh dear, I want to make some of these now!
Me, too! 😀 I’m looking for a handkerchief to make the handkerchief collar! When you make one of these I’d love to see a picture! 🙂
I once read that we wear a collar instinctively to protect our necks and that it’s an instinct from days of battle and armour. I must admit that I feel instantly transformed with a neck scarf. This was a really interesting and informative piece to read. Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x
Thanks for stopping by!
oh this is a great post! super informative–I love the Edwardian period!
Thank you so much, Laura! 🙂 I love the Edwardian period too!
This is really fascinating! Thank you for sharing it with us at the Homestead Blog Hop!
This is an excellent post and not only have I pinned it, I have saved it to my sewing file! Thanks so much for linking to Friday Frenzy~
Thanks for pinning!
I love you information. I sew victorian/edwardiam costumes for a 1895 Victorian home I volunteer at. Your page came up as I was looking on info on making a collar, Jabot for up coming event. I am also with the Costume Museum of Canada. I hope to read more from you. Keep up the great work.
Thanks so much, Jeannie! I’m glad you found it helpful!
Thanks for info. I need a steampunk collar, 2 weeks to create something. This has been very helpful.
Thanks, Donna, I’m glad you found it helpful! 😀