2,000 Years of the Necktie
Bandanas from India

by David Johnson

NECKTIES
THROUGH THE AGES
 
Introduction

210 B.C.
China's First Emperor

113 A.D.
Did Romans Wear Ties?

17th Century
Croatian Cravats for the King of France

Cravats Go to England

Real Men Wear Lace

18th Century
Cowboy Bandannas from India

Sailing the Seven Seas

19th Century
Business Suit Takes Shape

Cambridge & Oxford School Ties

Ties Fit for Officers and Gentlemen

Bow Ties Center Stage

A Tie Singing Dixie

Lord Byron's Legacy

Women Tie the Knot, Too!

20th Century
Paris Presents Designer Ties

Celebrities & Rock Stars

Ascots Cross Finish Line

Bolo: The Tie That Won the West

Turtleneck: The Anti-Tie

 
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Pulling No Punches for Bandannas

A few years before 19th century trendsetter Beau Brummell, a rugged young prizefighter of working class origins named Jem Belcher took to wearing a blue silk bandanna covered with large white spots containing pale blue bird's eye centers. Soon, working class Englishmen by thousands were wearing colored bandannas.
In so doing, they were adopting a trend already common in America. Only rich colonists wore cravats made of lace. America was already adopting a casual, practical attitude toward fashion.

Sanskrit origins

Derived from the Sanskrit word, bandhna, or bandhana, meaning "tying", bandannas were first imported from India around 1700. The original bandannas were silk and came in an array of colors, including red, blue, green, brown, black and white, pink, and yellow. Bandannas could also be hand printed or tie-dyed with flowers or bird's eye patterns.

Cowboy uniform

Cowboys used red or blue bandanna to keep dust from the face. Bandits also used bandannas as masks. Bandannas today are an integral part of western style, and are often worn square dancing.

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