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Assignment: Regency Neckcloths

Personally, I would hate to have been a Regency laundress! Can you imagine getting 7 or 8 perfectly good neckcloths back for rewashing, starching, and ironing, because the master got a CREASE wrong???? Anyway ...

I had to play valet, since my model was struck immobile by the magnificence of it all! For the neckcloth, I used a single thickness of white broadcloth, 45 inches long and 12 inches wide. I think that if the model hadn't had such a skinny neck, this wouldn't have been long enough, but as it was, it worked out fine. Because the cloth was not starched, and because the model's neck was so short, some of the styles with a tall neckwrap and specific crease patterns would not work. The ones I tried were more casual, loose styles: the Osbaldeston, the Waterfall, the Maharatta, and the Napoleon.

The line drawings below are from Neckclothiana (1818).

The advantage to using my dress model was the lack of objection to anything I tried on it, and no kitty fish breath.

The Osbaldeston - the neckcloth is first laid on the back of the neck; the ends are then brought forward and tied in a large knot, the breadth of which must be at least four inches and two inches deep.

The Maharatta - also called the Nabog (Nabob) Tie, the neckcloth is placed on the back of the neck, the ends are brought forward, and joined as a chain link, the remainder is then turned back, and fastened behind.

The Napoleon - the neckcloth is first laid on the back of the neck, crossed in front, with the ends being fastened to the braces (suspenders), or carried under the arms and tied on the back. This is supposed to give the wearer a "languishingly amourous look."

The Waterfall, or Mail Coach - the neckcloth is supposed to be unstarched, and may even look better with a long cashmere scarf to give the proper volume. Start the neckcloth in front, cross on the back of the neck, bring the ends forward and tie with a single knot. Bring one of the loose ends over, so as to completely hide the knot, spread the cloth out, and tuck it into the waistcoat. It certainly looks nice and warm to protect the neck from the elements while driving a coach.


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Updated on February 3, 2004
by Jean L. Cooper
Copyright 2001 Jean L. Cooper