The Humble Scarf – It’s A Wrap!

A scarf is just a fashion accessory to keep you warm, right? Just wrap it around your neck to keep out the cold and you’re done – yes?

Well, not necessarily…you see, here’s the Oxford English Dictionary definition:

“A square, triangular or especially long strip of material worn round the neck, over the shoulders, or tied around the head, for warmth or ornament.”

So, now what do you think? Well…scarves sure have come a long way since their origins. Do you know where they came from? Maybe a little history is in order here…

From Curvy Crochet (Leisure Arts publication #5154) - available as a printed book or a digital download from, Designs by Jill Wright & Marly Bird

A Short History...

Well, Rome was rumored to own the origins of the scarf. You see, the Roman men would use a “sweat cloth” to wipe their faces and necks in the warm Italian weather. They would carry it either around their neck or tied to their belt. But, the girls didn’t want to be left out, so they soon adopted the accessory and wore them made in much finer fabrics.

Scarves have also been used over time as a form of displaying the ranks of soldiers. Higher ranks wore finer fabrics, though my guess is that battling soldiers were highly unlikely to stop mid-cut-and-thrust and ask, “Ooh – is that a silk scarf you’re wearing?” I could, of course, be very wrong…

Anyway, the early 19th Century saw the humble scarf become a fashion accessory for both men and women, but you know, they’re not always used just for warmth.

Photo by DRG, Moguls Cowl designed by Jill Wright

A Useful Thing!

Scarves can be worn over the head, which is a custom for certain religions – these headscarves have various names. Cowboys may wear kerchiefs or bandanas over their nose and mouth to protect them from blowing dirt and dust.

Nowadays you can find scarves representative of schools, teams and the military, not to mention the large number of organizations who have adopted scarves of certain colors. For example, pink for Breast Cancer and red for Foster Care to name just a couple.

Scarves have evolved as a way to show your personality and sense of style as well as being simply functional. Gymnasts dance with them, as do Belly Dancers, sports fans wave them at games, they can keep your hair out of your eyes or just spruce up a plain old t-shirt & jeans.

Photo by Fractured Photography. Fresh Designs: Scarves. Designed by Jill Wright

Photo by Fractured Photography. Fresh Designs: Scarves. Design by Jill Wright

And There's More...

But, I’m not just here to tell you about the history of this simple item of clothing! is here to provide you with a place to learn how to make, wear, give and where to buy scarves, shawls and wraps.

Here you’ll find everything from tutorials on how to make the simplest fleece scarf with no sewing involved to hand painting your very own silken masterpiece. I’ll show you how to knit, crochet, loom, felt and maybe even weave your own creations, as well as letting you know the best places to buy your favorite designer name brands.

But, it’s not just about making scarves, shawls and wraps, I’ll also be giving you some suggestions for you how you can wear them, tie them and use them so you can make the most of these perfect fashion accessories.

Excited to know more? Then settle down and stay a while…you never know what you’ll find!

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Contact me! Comments, suggestions and enquiries are always welcome.