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Falling collar

Falling collar

  • Place of origin:

    England (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1620-1630 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered linen with cutwork panels

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Cutwork decorates the edges of this falling linen band (collar) of the 1630s. The technique involved cutting holes in the linen to make a design and then finishing the raw edges with buttonhole stitch. Using white embroidery thread on a white fabric is a type of needlework known as whitework.

The band appeared as a new style of neckwear in the 1590s. It was worn informally in place of the ruff, because it used less fabric and was therefore less expensive. A band was also much easier to care for and soon replaced the ruff for all but the most formal occasions. A band was considered to be ‘standing’ or ‘falling’ depending on how it was arranged in relation to the doublet or bodice. A standing band was heavily starched and held perfectly flat by a wire, bone or card support underneath. For more informal occasions, a falling band was worn, lightly starched and allowed to drape over the collar of the garment underneath.

Physical description

Embroidered collar

Place of Origin

England (probably, made)


1620-1630 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Embroidered linen with cutwork panels


Length: 28 in, Width: 9.5 in

Descriptive line

M, linen, 1625-50, English; White, embroidered with cutwork, floral

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Avril Hart and Susan North, Historical Fashion in Detail: the 17th and 18th centuries, London: V&A, 1998, p. 196


Linen; Linen thread


Embroidery; Cutwork (embroidery)

Subjects depicted



Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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