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Author Topic: Working Class "Sunday Best" Neckwear  (Read 2303 times)
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melissamary
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« on: August 06, 2013, 05:22:51 PM »

Hello!  I'm making my beau clothes and I've hit a wall.  I don't know what he ought to be wearing around his neck when he takes me to church on Sunday.  He will have a tan linen sack coat, linen vest, and grey plaid wool trousers.  I was already planning of making him a bandanna to wear while working but I have a feeling that won't fly for church.  Most of the info I've found on cravats have been for upper class impressions.  Would he still have a silk cravat?  He is portraying a farmhand.  Thanks!

Edited to add:  He refuses to wear pre-tied neckwear, so I'm doomed to make it for him.  If anyone can offer tips on construction of appropriate neckwear, that would be much appreciated!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 05:24:38 PM by melissamary » Logged
EKorsmo
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 07:15:39 PM »

I've found a few period references to farmers and laborers having silk for "best".

Here's a reference (1843) to factory-made silk cravats costing $1.00-$1.75ea. 

http://books.google.com/books?id=0ts7AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA46&dq=%22silk+cravat%22,+%22laborer%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pKMBUrW_OcK2iwLthoCACA&ved=0CEkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22silk%20cravat%22%2C%20%22laborer%22&f=false

And an add (1844) for ready-mades "suitable for a laborer, mechanic, tradesman or a man of leisure" including cravats in "all conceivable styles, fabrics, and combination of colors which are made, from Cambric to the most beautiful Satin figured damask"

http://books.google.com/books?id=P94XAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA48&dq=%22silk+cravat%22,+%22laborer%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=x6QBUpC5MszLigLFz4DwCA&ved=0CFcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22silk%20cravat%22%2C%20%22laborer%22&f=false

And an 1850 scene (republished verbatim in 1855, 1865, and 1869 according to Google):
"Upon her right hand sits the farmer, dressed in a butternut-colored coat, blue pants, buff vest, white linen shirt--every article homemade--stout boots and black silk cravat--for he has been to town and this is his holiday suit."

http://books.google.com/books?id=beIRAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA3-PA39&dq=%22silk+cravat%22,+%22farmer%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xKUBUpzGOoGsiAKXzoDQDA&ved=0CEUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22silk%20cravat%22%2C%20%22farmer%22&f=false

And an 1848 story, "Mark Manly; Or, The Skipper's Lad":
"His costume was plain and rude enough.  It consisted of a coarse seaman's jacket, a black silk cravat knotted in front, and a pair of canvass [sic] trousers..."

http://books.google.com/books?id=C9tfzVxKCw0C&pg=PA19&dq=%22silk+cravat%22,+%22farmer%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KqcBUoP6HIXmiwK8l4DwDg&ved=0CGQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=%22silk%20cravat%22%2C%20%22farmer%22&f=false

And an 1852 story, in which a man is described as being dressed more like a farmer or jockey than as the doctor he supposedly is (including a crinsom silk cravat):

http://books.google.com/books?id=0ncpAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA115&dq=%22silk+cravat%22+pattern,+OR+farmer,+OR+farm+OR+worker,+OR+laborer,+OR+make&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jqkBUujoEaHQiwLnqoGgBg&ved=0CHgQ6AEwCTgU#v=onepage&q=%22silk%20cravat%22%20pattern%2C%20OR%20farmer%2C%20OR%20farm%20OR%20worker%2C%20OR%20laborer%2C%20OR%20make&f=false

And here's a thread with some information on making cravats: http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=7970.0.
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melissamary
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 07:22:17 PM »

Awesome, that was exactly what I was looking for!  Thank you so much!
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