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Girl with a Yellow Neckerchief (painting by Vittorio Matteo Corcos )
Men with a bandana

A scarf is a scarf-like, triangular or square scarf that is worn under the coat, in today's fashion to liven up sweaters. Originally it was understood to mean a scarf knotted around the neck.


The scarf came into fashion as part of male clothing in the time of Louis XIV , when the prevailing wide rider collar was replaced by the allong wig . It was made of fine, white, and for the bourgeoisie also made of colored or black material and was tied under the chin so that the creased and pointed tips fell down on the chest. It was long superseded by the jabot in the 18th century until it reappeared in the 1780s. At that time it consisted of fine, white canvas and encased the folded shirt collar.

At the time of the French Revolution, the scarves grew up to the chin and were worn up to three on top of each other; With the now upright shirt collar ( parricide ) they gradually became smaller again and sank. Jabots were in use until the 1820s; then the black scarf appeared, and since 1830 in the form of stiffened neck ties. Since the beginning of the 1850s, the scarf usually only consisted of a ribbon or was replaced by ties or ties .

Scarves as part of a uniform


In the United States Navy , teams wear a "black bandana" with their white service uniform .

Boy Scout and Youth Movement

Scarf of the Association of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts with scarf ring
Various group scarves from the Guides Catholiques de Belgique

In the scout movement , the scarf belongs to the rift . In almost all scout associations, the scarf is only awarded to members after a probationary period, usually in connection with the making of the scout promise . It serves as a symbol of permanent membership in the boy scout movement.

Most of the German scout associations use a uniform, association-wide color scheme, with the different colors or stripes representing the respective age groups. The Ring of German Scout Associations / Ring of German Scout Associations has had its own, uniform scarf for all scouts organized in it since 2007, which can be worn at events in which several ring associations are involved. Outside Germany, scarves in the group colors are widespread, uniform scarves are only used for central events or for trips abroad to identify nationality. Sometimes scarves are made for special occasions that are memorable.

Other youth groups in the Bund , for example migratory birds, use the scarf as an award. With these, a scarf ring is rather unusual, but the tips are knotted together. A - square - scarf knot is also common among Danish scouts.

The scarfs used by boy scouts are typically made of woven fabric. The cut can be a diagonally halved square, the sides of which run parallel to the thread. The diagonal measures about 90 cm. Alternatively, there is a slightly slimmer cut, i.e. an isosceles triangle with a 90 cm long base and about 36 (instead of 45) cm high. The design can be woven in, in the form of ribbons along the short sides or sewn on with an embroidered coat of arms near the crown, or by means of different colored hems all around.

Before folding / putting on / tying the scarf, it is rolled up or folded over about 2/3 of the height from the long side (back of the scarf upwards, possibly across one or both thighs). The remaining triangle of about 20 cm wide and 10 cm high that remains unwrapped comes to lie visibly on the neck and back of the person when it is put on over the uniform shirt. The wrap (fold) can be placed between the neck and the inside of the shirt collar beforehand, which creates a good fit and protects the shirt collar from soiling.

A scarf is tied around faster with a ring, but this can be lost. Tying a kerchief knot takes longer, a side effect is the risk of choking if the kerchief loop gets caught.

Pioneer organizations

Young pioneers with kerchiefs

In the GDR , the Young Pioneers also wore a kind of uniform as a sign of membership, consisting of blue trousers or skirts, white shirt or blouse and a blue scarf for young pioneers (1st to 3rd grade) or a red scarf for Thälmann pioneers (4th grade) . – 7th grade). This was tied with the special pioneer knot .

Scarves as a fashion accessory

In fashion, women and men use scarves as a fashion accessory .

See also

Web links

Commons : Neckerchiefs  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: neckerchief  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  • Meyer's Encyclopedic Lexicon . Bibliographical Institute, Mannheim / Vienna / Zurich 1973, Volume 11, p. 351.
  • Meyers Konversationslexikon . Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna, 4th edition, 1885–1892, Volume 8, p. 34.
  • Cravatina, or the newest bandana toilet for men. According to the French. In addition to the illustration of 14 new scarf fashions. , Voigt., Ilmenau 1823.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ GDR pictures: Young pioneers march .
  2. JALZ (Kleine Schriften) ( Memento of the original from July 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed July 4, 2014.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /