A journey in textiles and color

The Queens of Scarves

The Queens of Scarves

Since antiquity, queens have been associated with setting fashion trends.  My scarf history research led me to these lovely ladies who were trend setters in their own times. Egyptian Queen Nefertiti (13th century BC) wore finely woven scarves underneath her conical headdress. Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century) was a colorful and enlightened queen who brought customs from Aquitaine, such as language, respect for women, and fashion, to Paris, a then unimpressive city. Women of Queen Eleanor's time hung lengthy scarves from their high headdresses. 

 Queen Isabelle II (1833-1868) of Spain popularized the mantilla style of draping a silk or lace shawl over one's head and shoulders. Scarves and shawls ascended to their status as popular fashion accessories during Queen Victoria’s (1837-1901)  time. Queen Victoria herself crocheted eight scarves and gave them to soldiers as a special award for heroism during the Boer war.

 

 

Empress Nur Jahan (1577-1645) whose name means “light of the world” was a highly influential and favorite queen in Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s court. She took an active role behind the scenes, encouraging trade, fashion and the arts.  During her time, Nur Jahan and the ladies of the Mughal court wore expensive silks, brocade and fine muslin embellished with gold, silver and precious gems.  Rani Lakshmibai (1828-1858) the famous queen of Jhansi, fought against the British when they tried to annex her kingdom. She was an excellent swords woman and horse rider.  Even during battle she wore a sari, but draped like a dhoti (‘Nauvari sari’) and a scarf on her head.

 

Gone are the days when a scarf used to be just a sweat wiping cloth (a sudarium) worn by Roman soldiers.  Embrace your inner queen with scarves!

 

11 comments


Sue K

Sue K

Sweet little history here! But I am mainly motivated to write to boast Madavi’s praises. I bought a few scarves from her that are gorgeous, and purchased a couple more recently for gift-giving. But upon receiving the pretty new scarves, realized that I should have paid closer attention to their dimensions. I needed larger scarves for larger women, and knew immediately upon contacting Madavi that she would make it right. I exchanged the scarves for the bigger ones and Madavi was so lovely and responsive: a dream to deal with and very responsive. I am hooked and look forward to more happy purchases going forward. Thanks again, Madavi, for a great store, great service, and for enabling me to introduce so much color into my life and the lives of others!

vasanthi

vasanthi

Nice article about the history of Scarves. There is a story behind every product of yours Madavi.
it makes it more interesting. keep going !

Mina

Mina

My favorite is queen Eleanor, any one who can raise the prestige of women is worth having as your role model and I love the chiffon mayil scarves that are so light weight that they float round my neck. They come in so many breathtaking colors that you want to have one of each.

Annie

Annie

Wow this is super interesting article. Thanks for sharing Akka. Expecting more of these from you. Amazing history behind beautiful ladies & scarves ??

Kavitha

Kavitha

Awesome! Thanks for sharing this info. I am reading Nurjahan’s story now and this makes me feel like an empress. So cool!

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