Falling Band

1620-1630 (made)
Falling Band thumbnail 1
Falling Band thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Linen; hand-woven, hand-sewn, hand-embroidered
Brief Description
Man's linen falling band, 1625-50, English; embroidered with cutwork, floral, whitework
Physical Description
Man’s falling band of linen. It is made of a rectangle of linen, darted at the neck edge and sewn to a 1¼-inch (3mm) neck band, with a worked eyelet at each end for fastening. The outer edge of the band is scalloped and embroidered with white linen and cutwork with simple bobbin lace insertions.
Dimensions
  • Neckband to scallop depth: 25.0cm (approx)
  • Overall width: 71.0cm (approx)
Subject depicted
Summary
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.
Bibliographic Reference
Avril Hart and Susan North, Historical Fashion in Detail: the 17th and 18th centuries, London: V&A, 1998, p. 196
Collection
Accession Number
190-1900

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record createdJanuary 2, 2007
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