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Scarf wearers in France at the beginning of the 19th century

A scarf ( Persian شال, DMG šāl , via English shawlshawl or headscarf ) is a long, narrow, rectangular item of clothing that is worn around the neck or pulled over the head.


The scarf is originally a piece of clothing that belongs to the clothing of the people of Kashmir . In cashmere, the wool of the cashmere goat was woven into rectangular or square shawls that were worn over the head and shoulders. The name Kashmir is derived from the Kashmir region.

The first mention of a scarf can be found in a travelogue from the 17th century. In Europe, the scarf came into fashion in the 18th century as a large, square or rectangular shawl made of wool or silk. In its function as the only warming garment, the scarf was largely replaced by the coat in the 19th century .

Material and workmanship

Woman in Black with a Spanish Scarf, Robert Henri, 1910

The originally used material cashmere wool (also known as cashmere ) is a fine, very soft fiber, which is obtained from the undercoat of the cashmere goat and is much warmer than sheep's wool . Cashmere is one of the most valuable and expensive natural fibers and is therefore often offered mixed with merino wool or other sheep wool. The selling price is high and depends on their quality. Pashmina scarves are made from cashmere or a cashmere silk fabric.

Materials used today are silk, wool - including new wool and cashmere, polyacrylic , sometimes euphemistically referred to as cashmink , and fleece fabric .

Increasingly, scarves are not only knitted or woven , but also felted . This enables imaginative patterns, image motifs and breakthrough work . Further design options result from a mix of materials, such as fine virgin wool with silk.

Different models

  • Silk scarf: A classic in evening wear is the decorative white silk scarf with a tailcoat .
  • Tie scarf: The tie scarf is often worn by men, both under and over the shirt collar. The name comes from the way it is tied, as it hugs the neck tightly and hangs straight down.
  • Hose scarf (Loop): The hose scarf is a scarf that is processed in a ring-shaped piece, has a fixed length and can be looped around the neck once or several times. The tube scarf is very practical, especially for children, because it doesn't simply roll up and you can't get caught with the end of the scarf.
  • Fan scarf: The fan scarf, usually made of synthetic fibers such as polyester or polyacrylate, is mainly worn by club fans for ice hockey and football .

See also


  • Yvonne Joosten, Werner Schultze (Illustrator): Knigge - how to tie shawls, scarves and pareos perfectly. Dörfler, Eggolsheim 2008, ISBN 978-3-89555-571-8 .
  • Gudrun Schreiber: Fascination with Shal. Persian wool and cashmere fabrics in comparison. Wasmuth, Tübingen / Berlin 2005, ISBN 978-3-8030-3310-9 .

Web links

Wiktionary: scarf  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Scarves  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. History on, accessed on February 24, 2014.
  2. History of the scarf on, accessed on February 24, 2014.
  3. Pashmina material ( Memento of the original from February 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on, accessed February 24, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Fan scarf on, accessed on February 24, 2014.