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Ruff

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1620-1629 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen, linen thread, hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Frances M. Beach

  • Museum number:

    T.287-1916

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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)

Date

1620-1629 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Linen, linen thread, hand-sewn

Dimensions

Width: 50.4 cm, Depth: 27.5 cm, Circumference: 38.0 cm at neck, approx.

Descriptive line

Falling, of pleated linen, 1620-30, English

Materials

Linen (material); Linen thread

Techniques

Hand sewing

Categories

Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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