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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1620-1629 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen, linen thread, hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Frances M. Beach

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition

The fashionable ensemble of the early 17th century included either a ruff or a band (collar) worn at the neck. The band was gradually overtaking the ruff in fashionable dress, as it required less linen and was much easier to care for. By the 1620s, the style of ruff most commonly seen was the falling variety, made to drape over the collar of the doublet, jacket or bodice worn underneath.
This example is made of a very finely spun and woven linen, hemmed with stitches so fine they can barely be seen. The extremely narrow pleats were probably set with lengths of fine straw, over which the ruff was ironed. Seventeenth-century laundresses required great skill to execute this kind of setting, heating their irons on a stove to the temperature just hot enough to smooth, but not scorch, the linen.

Physical description

A falling double ruff of 2 layers of linen, very finely hemmed and pleated, attached and bound together at neck edge with a strip of linen.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1620-1629 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Linen, linen thread, hand-sewn


Width: 390 mm, Depth: 255 mm, Circumference: 38.0 cm at neck, approx., Depth: 260 mm

Object history note

RF number is 16/3912.

Descriptive line

Falling, of pleated linen, 1620-30, English


Linen (material); Linen thread


Hand sewing


Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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