Regency Tie Reconstruction

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Maharatta Tie

Osbaldeston Tie

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This assignment was for the online Costume History course I did in 2001.
Assignment: Neckties in this period were especially important. Get a piece of light crisp cloth (muslin or taffeta will work best) about 45" x 6" in size and try following the wonderfully vague and confusing instructions for tying it round your (or someone else's) neck. Write an account of what you did, and how you can really make one look like one of the pictures, and post them to your site.
Links to Sources:
Directions from  The Regency Neckcloth
Drawings observed from Neckclothitania

You can find more cravat instructions of the same styles, from plates of the same period, in the book Ties by Avril Hart, (p 44) V&A publications.

Having a Go:
Reading the directions and trying to copy the drawings, I have come up with a few cravats. I used a piece of cotton muslin with no starch and raw edges. The size recommended was fine, as I used a wig stand to tie them on. However, I do not believe they would be easy on a real person. Nor would they work well if the cloth was starched.

I decided 1.) to see if it were possible to tie any of the ties by following the directions.

2.) to see if these styles could be used practically in fashions of today.

I found the directions for the stiffer ties more difficult to understand, because of the old names for the creases and knots. I do think they would have taken a very long time to get right. I do not think they would work very well today, as people are more used to having their necks free.

The softer versions were not hard to make, however, I know I had far more creases, since I used unstarched cloth. The drawings were misleading though, since they looked as if the ends after wrapping were even with each other, when in fact they came to the front at different levels. Perhaps a drawing showing what the back looked like would have been helpful.

Nevertheless, I think some of the resulting ties would dress up some of today's fashions nicely. I have never been able to get a scarf to look nice, with the methods of tying that I knew before. I would attempt some of these ties in a soft version if there was occasion.

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Mail Coach/Waterfall Tie

Hunting/Diana Tie

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Horse Collar Tie



Cruikshank's neckties



American Tie

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Neckcloth at Castle Howard: I recently visited Castle Howard in Yorkshire, and was intrigued with this find. One area was set up as if it were the dressing rooms for the actors from Brideshead Revisited, which was filmed there. Next to the gentleman’s mirror, there was a set of instructions and drawings so he could arrange his tie.

The tie, pictured here with the jacket, was fairly stiff, but there were also ‘buttonhole like’ areas which seemed to be for the purpose of threading part of the tie through.

If you are interested in Georgian/Regency costume, check out this site. 
The Society of 18th Century Gentlemen

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