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Mary Warren
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« on: December 26, 2006, 02:13:58 PM »

I would like to make my husband some new cravats.  I have several small lengths of silk just waiting to be turned into something wonderful  Are there patterns available?  I'd like to make a tied one that buckles in the back and  and a flat one that needs to be tied.  I also need instructions on folding and tying them.  Thanks.


Mary Warren
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Mary Warren

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Angie Huff
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2006, 04:55:38 PM »

Hi, Mary
Buckaroo Bobbins has a pattern for a Men's Cravat. You can get them through James Country Mercantile. The  pattern is only $3.50.
Although I've purchased it, I haven't gotten around to using it yet. As far as how to tie one there is a book available from 1829 called THE ART OF TYING A CRAVAT. Although it is before our era, it is very interesting.
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Carolann Schmitt
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2006, 06:29:00 PM »

Hi, Mary -

I drafted the patterns for pre-tied cravats for my cravat class from extant examples. Some other sources include:

Doriece Colle's book Collars, Stock, Cravats: A History and Costume Dating Guide to Civilian Men's Neckpieces 1655-1900 (Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, Inc., 1972) has a very detailed history of cravats with extensive line drawings and photographs. There are no scaled patterns, but the illustrations are sufficiently clear that you could draft your own without much difficulty.

Period images are an excellent source for cravat styles and shapes. In addition to cartes-de-visites, genre paintings and portraits often provide very fine details for fabrics, colors, styles and shapes.

Ageless Patterns www.agelesspatterns.com has two cravat patterns. Copied from original pattern illustration in Harper's Magazine, these are slightly post-war. However they are very similar to period cravats show in Colle's book and original cravats I've found. #1445 1869 Gentlemen's Stock is the standard pre-tied bow on a foundation. The band or foundation is cut straight on this pattern, while period cravats usually have the band cut with a slight dip at the front of the neck. The dip makes the cravat more comfortable to wear. #1472 Five Cravat Bows has several different styles popular c.1855-1865, as well as a pattern for a foundation that buttons onto the collar button. Like all Ageless Patterns, instructions are minimal or non-existent so you should have some basic knowledge of period construction techniques.

Laughing Moon www.lafnmoon.com #107 Men's Victorian and Edwardian Shirt includes several different cravat styles. While a few are suitable for the mid-19th century, most date to the last quarter of the century. You may wish to compare the styles with some general costume histories or dated images before making your selection.

The Buckaroo Bobbins pattern Angie mentioned is from the last quarter of the century and is not appropriate for c.1850s-1860s use.

With careful cutting and piecing, you can get a pre-tied cravat out of a remarkably smal piece of fabric. When I did the cravat workshop at last year's conference, 1/3 yard fabric was more than sufficient; and 1/4 yard would work if we planned carefully.

Late Georgian Costume: The Tailor's Friendly Instructor (1822) by J. Wyatt and The Art of Tying the Cravat (1828) by H. Le Blanc has been reprinted by R.L. Shep (Mendocino, CA: R.L.Shep, 1981). I believe Amazon Drygoods has also reprinted the book on cravats. This book dates to well before our period. While the general information is good, many of the knots are much more elaborate and fanciful for our period. Once again, a comparison with Colle's book or photogrpahs will help you select appropriate styles.

My husband much prefers a pre-tied cravat. It's easier to put on, stays in place, and is less bulky to wear. It also seems to be the more common version for our period.

I hope this information is helpful.

Regards,
Carolann
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Carolann Schmitt - Only a historian understands how much you need to know in order to recognize how much you don't know. - Elizabeth Ann Coleman
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Joshua_Block
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2007, 11:45:05 AM »

A REAL cravat is nothing more than a triangular piece of fabric. Make the two legs 45-50 inches long and hem as needed. Now starch the heck out of it. Next you’ll need to fold it. Start from the point and fold to the longest side. Also there’s a little reprint book out there called something like “The Art of the Cravat”, something like that, I’d get one of those too.

In my opinion the pre-tied cravats look offal. Think of a pre-tied as clip on modern tie, they just don’t look that good and many men can tie a normal tie. 
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2007, 12:15:59 PM »

Joshua, don't forget to sign your name--thanks!

I agree--*some* preformed neck stocks look dreadful... but others can be quite nice.  I think a lot depends on the skill of the maker in arranging the folds nicely, and making the whole assemblage look "light" and natural, rather than set in stone.  I don't see it being accomplished with machine sewing. Smiley

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Elizabeth
Carolann Schmitt
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2007, 12:48:55 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Mr. Block. It's nice to have a gentleman's view in our discussions.

A REAL cravat is nothing more than a triangular piece of fabric.


As there are numerous surviving examples of original pre-tied cravats as well as other primary source evidence for their use, I can't agree that one form is more "REAL" than another.  Smiley  Large "tie-it-yourself " cravats were the standard in the first half of the century but they are rapidly going out of style c.1850-1860. While older gentlemen may continue to wear them, they are not as popular with younger gentlemen and their use by the male population in general fades rapidly during the 1860s.  "Tie-it-yourself" cravats made from smaller, less bulky pieces of finer fabrics such as silk are in style throughout the second half of the century, but these cravats look much different than those tied from larger pieces of cotton or linen fabric.

Quote
Make the two legs 45-50 inches long and hem as needed. Now starch the heck out of it. Next you’ll need to fold it. Start from the point and fold to the longest side.

Could you share your source for cravats made from this shape and dimensions? Most of my references for starched cotton and/or linen cravats refer to using a smaller square of fabric or a long rectangle of fabric.  A square or triangle that size would result in an overall length of the folded cravat (the hypotenuse of the triangle, if you remember your geometry) of 64"-71". That's an awfully long piece of fabric, even if your cravat is wrapped around your neck before tying.

Quote
Also there’s a little reprint book out there called something like “The Art of the Cravat”, something like that, I’d get one of those too.

That book was mentioned previously, but we also noted that it dates well before our period of discussion. Cravats were one of the first accessories that reflected changes in style; a gentleman wearing a cravat in the fashion of the 1830s during the Civil War era is likely to be described as old-fashioned and eccentric.  

Quote
In my opinion the pre-tied cravats look offal. Think of a pre-tied as clip on modern tie, they just don’t look that good and many men can tie a normal tie.

I agree that there are some poorly-done reproductions of pre-tied cravats offered by some merchants. However, a properly executed pre-tied cravat is very becoming. This is a link to a photo of Brian Merrick of Corner Clothiers wearing one of his pre-tied cravats and looking just like many of the images I have. http://www.cornerclothiers.com/speedyharpers.jpg 

Whether a gentleman chooses to wear a pre-tied or a tie-it-yourself cravat is a matter of personal preference and what is most appropriate for his impression and era.  Smiley

Regards,
Carolann
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Carolann Schmitt - Only a historian understands how much you need to know in order to recognize how much you don't know. - Elizabeth Ann Coleman
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Tarheel
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2007, 12:52:06 PM »

Thank you so much Carolann for the pattern information,Ageless Patterns www.agelesspatterns.com has two cravat patterns. I will order it today. Since we are a civilian group only, I need all the good information on civilian men's clothing I can get. This question about cravats was one of my concerns, since I have just started sewing for a gentelman in our group. I have not made male civilian clothing before.
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Tarheel
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2007, 01:33:55 PM »

How accurate is the shirt and carvat in the Two Mid 19th Century Shirts #007 pattern with cravat by Past patterns?
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Carolann Schmitt
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2007, 06:10:22 PM »

Hi, Linda -

There was some discussion about that shirt pattern in this thread: http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=200.0
It's the third post in the thread.

Oops - I just realized we talked about the shirt and not the cravat. Let me go look at the pattern...

Carolann
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Carolann Schmitt - Only a historian understands how much you need to know in order to recognize how much you don't know. - Elizabeth Ann Coleman
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Joshua_Block
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2007, 02:12:29 PM »

Mrs. Schmitt,
Sorry for not responding sooner. I believe it was in “The Art of Tying the Cravat” I gather the info on the triangular cravat. It takes some practice to get the folds even but the outcome is by far nicer than the simpler strip of fabric. But I do like both styles, it simply depends on what I’m do as to what tie I wear.

I own a pre-tied cravat by Historic Clothiers, I call it “the dog collar”. It’s a steel band hidden in a satin pre-tied cravat. It is by far the most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever worn and I no longer wear it because of that. With all of it’s draw backs it is a good copy of the original, I would just not suggest the wearing of it.

I really like to tie my own cravat. The knots are just endless and one can be as fancy or as simple as they chose. I’ve been tying my own modern tie since I was about 10 (I’m 21 now). I feel we should try and urge more men to tie their own ties and if they are unable, a women’s help would be warranted and appreciated.

Mr. Joshua Block

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felicite
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2007, 01:02:05 AM »

And here's my strange discovery of the day! Joshua (yes, that one, right up there) called me earlier in a tizzy trying to figure out where he could white get silk satin for a cravat for the ball coming up at the end of the month, and while I'm not a cravat expert, I suspected that Duchess satin (silk, twilled weave on the back, 2 weft layers and 2 warp layers) was too thick, but charmeuse seemed far too flopsy, so I did a crazy thing.

I starched the heck out of a scrap of charmeuse! And it stopped acting like charmeuse! I used a heavy spray starch on the wrong side of the fabric, a couple applications of it, and it even changed the 'glow' of the fabric slightly, so the surface is cirtually identical to the Duchess satin. Fancy that!

I just had to share this strange discovery, and I wondered what others had managed with cravats of satiny ilk. =)
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2007, 01:51:44 PM »

Next time, have him try white tafetta.  It has the crispy that's nice for good pleats, but it's not "slinky" like satins and charmeuse can be, and has that "silk" glow to it, also.

My, he's going to be fine and dandy, isn't he?  Smiley
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Elizabeth
felicite
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2007, 11:46:33 PM »

Duck and cover, Liz! He goes into apoplectic fits when called a dandy, and just seeing the word dandy in a sentence connected to him could set him off. =D

A rather, er, uninformed, lady who was doing a fashion show called him a dandy to all and sundry and we we very proud of him for not gnawing her arm off then and there. The strangest part is, he didn't even look the part. He was just.....dressed. Rather normal middle-class clothes, not anything fancy or colorful. And he hadn't even changed his cravat 4 times that day. To make up for it he turned up for one of my fashion shows at another event looking like something (very authentic) that the cat dragged in.....through several brambly fields.

However, Joshua, if you want white taffeta, I have an extra yard of that.

Aren't I handy!
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2007, 09:09:27 AM »

Hee hee... Mr. Block, I meant Dandy without rancor or disrespect.  One of my very good friends when I entered the hobby was a fellow with a sleep disorder.  He slept for 8 hours once every three days.  The rest of the time, he did research and sewing.  It was normal for him to attend a 3 day event with 9-12 fine, handsewn linen shirts, multiple cravats (he was like Bertie Wooster in tying, discarding, and starting over), entirely appropriate but very interesting vests... and he always smelled really nice, particularly compared to soldiers, because he did this little-known, historically correct thing called Sponge Bathing, with a Bay Rum sort of soap.  He was also a very, very good dancer.  And shared a taste for the same very good single-malt Scotch as I enjoyed occasionally right at that stage of life (a very short stage for me!) Smiley  He eventually granted his permission for my husband to marry me.  So, my association with 'dandy' is only ever pleasant and fond.

I find it lovely that gentlemen are interested in wearing full fig as appropriate.  As I said in another thread, a man in full historic dress (no matter what the "class" of impression, but particularly with the better-tailored sort) is a lovely thing!
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Elizabeth
Joshua_Block
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2007, 06:42:41 PM »

Miss. Luther,
Giving out the secrets to the kingdom aren’t we? LOL You’ll pay dearly for this latter, remind me thought.

Mrs. Clark,
Bay rum, sponge baths, and stack of cravats all very good things and I endorse them all. I would use taffeta however my research calls for satin. Seeing as I’m going to starch the dickens out of it I feel pretty good with charuouse (however it’s spelled). It time dose not allow me to make it I shall just buy from Corner Clothiers (the tie it ones self style).

Miss. Luther, Mrs. Clark et al,
To not be totally off topic here, I’ve read about and see photos of what is called a “Spanish Tie”. It’s about a one (1) inch  wide silk (or possibly cotton or wool) ribbon. Are there any places I might find silk, wool, or cotton ribbon?

Joshua Block
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Pam Robles
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2007, 08:45:00 PM »

Miss. Luther, Mrs. Clark et al,
To not be totally off topic here, I’ve read about and see photos of what is called a “Spanish Tie”. It’s about a one (1) inch  wide silk (or possibly cotton or wool) ribbon. Are there any places I might find silk, wool, or cotton ribbon?

Joshua Block


If you can't find it anywhere else, ebay vendor bonbonT sells China silk ribbon of about 1.25" in width.  She doesn't have black but it is easily dyed.  That's what I do.
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Carolann Schmitt
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« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2007, 09:23:39 AM »

Mr. Block -

Mr. Schmitt has admired the pre-tied cravats mounted on a steel or pre-plastic India rubber clip. Having not found one in his neck size, he prefers the softer pre-tied cravats - either the style that warps and buckles under the bow in the front or the style that buckles in the back of the neck. Perhaps your "dog collar" is not the correct size?  Smiley

There are thinner weaves of silk satin that would work for your cravat - usually available at better fabric stores. Charmeuse is not a period textile; even though your research call for satin, taffeta would be a better period substitute.

China silk ribbon has a very soft hand. The Ribbonry www.ribbonry.com in Perrysburg, OH stocks a wide assortment of all types of ribbon, especially silk. They also stock 100% cotton ribbon. 100% cotton ribbons are also available from better ribbon manufacturers; I find them in the NYC fabric district; I'm certain they are also available in the LA fabric district. I don't have a source at hand for wool ribbon, short of making your own.

Regards,
Carolann


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Carolann Schmitt - Only a historian understands how much you need to know in order to recognize how much you don't know. - Elizabeth Ann Coleman
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billclark
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2007, 04:47:47 PM »

Just a quick question.  I read this thread and I am left wondering what are the right dimensions/shape of a tie it yourself crevat.  Also where can I find a source for different knots?
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lindym
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« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2007, 07:45:46 PM »

Just a quick question.  I read this thread and I am left wondering what are the right dimensions/shape of a tie it yourself crevat.  Also where can I find a source for different knots?

I'm bumping this up as I am needing to try and make a cravat in the next 10 days and dimensions/shape would be very helpful. I don't have time to order ans receive a pattern.

Linda
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2007, 05:53:33 PM »

I've attached a photo of Mr. Dorman wearing a self tied (well, okay, tied by me) silk cravat. It is a result of a class I took several years back at the Harrisburg conference. It is a square of silk taffeta approximately 45" square, folded and tied. The basic instructions are based on "The Art of Tying a Cravat", however many of the knots shown in that reference are not appropriate for the 1860's. He has found it to be quite comfortable


Regards,
Kelly
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