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Title: The Art of Tying the Cravat - Demonstrated in sixteen lessons
Author: Blanc, H. le
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: H. LE BLANC ESQR.

Ingrey & Madeley, Lithog. 310 Strand.]

                               THE ART
                          TYING THE CRAVAT:

                    _THIRTY-TWO DIFFERENT STYLES_,
                           A Pocket Manual;

        And exemplifying the advantage arising from an elegant
          arrangement of this important part of the Costume;

                             PRECEDED BY
                       A HISTORY OF THE CRAVAT,
         And remarks on its influence on Society in general.

                         BY H. LE BLANC, ESQ.
        With explanatory Plates, and a Portrait of the Author

       “Nothing is more laudable than an enquiry after truth.”

                           _THIRD EDITION._

                   EFFINGHAM WILSON, 88, CORNHILL,
                  AND INGREY & MADELEY, 310, STRAND.

              Ingrey and Madeley, Printers, 310, Strand.


No one accustomed to mix with the higher classes of society will be
at all inclined to dispute the advantages arising from a genteel
appearance; it therefore becomes necessary that the means of acquiring
this distinction should be clearly demonstrated. An attentive perusal
of the following pages will conduce to this desired effect.

“L’art de mettre sa Cravate est à l’homme du monde ce que l’art de
donner à diner est a l’homme d’état.”

The Cravat should not be considered as a mere ornament, it is
decidedly one of the greatest preservatives of health—it is
a criterion by which the rank of the wearer may be at once
distinguished, and is of itself “a letter of introduction.”

The most fastidious may in this book find a model for imitation, as
not only the form, but the colour appropriate to each particular
style, is described in the clearest and most comprehensive manner.

It can be incontrovertibly asserted that this work, far from being
an ephemeral production, will be found to contain a mass of useful
information, and may be termed an “Encyclopædia of knowledge.”

The question whether Cravats were worn by the ancients is
satisfactorily decided.

It is fully proved that the Romans used a chin cloth, corresponding
almost entirely with the modern Cravat; and that the collar of the
ancient Persians, Egyptians, and Greeks was the origin of the Stock of
the present day.

In the chapter on black and coloured silk Cravats, it is shewn that
the former never obtained greater celebrity than in the last ten years
of the eighteenth century, and the first ten of the nineteenth; that
is to say, during a term of years replete with events of the greatest
political interest.

The work is divided into easy lessons—the first gives a solution of
the celebrated problem known as the _Nœud Gordien_, and is the key to
all the others. The fifteenth lesson alone contains eighteen different
methods of tying the Cravat: but lest any of our readers may be
terrified at the idea of having so much to acquire at once, it may be
necessary to observe that as they are derivations from the fourteen
first described, they are necessarily short and easy of attainment.

The first and last lessons (Nos. 1 and 16) are undoubtedly the most
important, on account of the precepts, opinions, and incontrovertible
truths which they contain. In the concluding chapter the correct
construction of the Cravat is proved to be of paramount advantage to
the wearer; and the consequences arising from an ignorance of this
important subject are pointed out in a manner which cannot fail to
convince every enlightened mind.

To render the work complete in every respect, plates, drawn from
nature, are inserted; these will clearly explain any difficulty a
beginner may experience in comprehending our directions, and will
enable him to judge whether he has produced the proper effect on his
own Cravat.

In an age like the present, when the man of quality is so closely
imitated by the pretender—when the amalgamation of all ranks seems
to be the inevitable consequence of the “_March of Intellect_” now
making such rapid strides amongst us, we think a more signal service
cannot be rendered to the higher ranks of society, than by the
production of such a work as this; and, in the hope of being really
useful, we offer to a discerning public the “Art of Tying on the




No decided opinion can be given of the age in which Cravats were first
introduced. The ancients were happily unacquainted with the ridiculous
and dangerous fashion of confining the throat in linen, either tied
in front or fastened behind with a clasp; this part of the frame was
allowed to remain in entire liberty; they, however, defended it
from the cold by means of a woollen or silken cloth, called in Rome
_focalium_, a term which is evidently derived from fauces (the throat).

A distinguished Jesuit (the Rev. Father Adam) in his work on Roman
antiquities, proves by the most undoubted authority that the
Romans made use of chin cloths, for the protection of the neck and
throat; these were termed focalia, and the public orators, who from
professional considerations were fearful of taking cold, contributed
in no small degree to render this fashion general. Some (says the
Rev. Father) used a handkerchief (sudarium) for this purpose. This is
probably the origin of the Cravat, which is in many countries called

Augustus, who was infirm and sickly, constantly used the focalium when
at his own house, or with his friends, but he was never seen in it in
public; and Lampridius observes that Alexander Severus made use of it
only when returning from the baths to his palace. In Rome the custom
of leaving the neck bare was so general, that it was considered
beneath the dignity of the man and citizen to protect it in any other
way than by the hand, or occasionally wrapping the toga round it.

The throats of our forefathers were for ages as uncovered as their
faces; in this respect the descendants of the Sarmatæ have not
degenerated, as the Poles during the most severe winter have their
throats constantly exposed. The same fashion (which is, however, less
surprising) has descended to the Eastern Nations, among whom a white
and well turned neck is metaphorically compared to the beauty of a
tower of ivory. The Calmucks, Baskirs, and other Tartars of the Don,
or the borders of the Caspian Sea, also adhere to this fashion; very
few of them, however, merit the Eastern compliment, as their throats
are generally ugly and ill-formed. This custom gradually declined in
France and several parts of Europe, and luxury, rather than necessity,
introduced the fashion of covering the throat loosely with a fine
starched linen cloth; this was worn above the shirt, without a collar;
the ends were brought down on the breast, and there fastened by
laces of thread—from this the idea of bands was derived—before the
introduction of the heavy and unhealthy bonds, which at a later period
confined the throat, was even dreamt of.

The ruff, stiffened and curled in single or double rows (an
inconvenient but harmless ornament), became the favourite in its turn,
and continued in fashion while the hair was worn short; but this also
fell into disrepute when Louis XIII. allowed his to grow. Then raised
collars, plaited neck-cloths, and bands (both plain and of lace),
enveloped the throats of our ancestors, from the neck to the chin, and
covered the tops of the arms and the shoulders. This fashion continued
until Louis XIV. adopted the enormous flaxen or black peruke, which
almost concealed the front of the neck. It then gave way to bright
coloured ribands arranged in bows, which were also introduced by this
gay and gallant monarch, and imitated by every one according to his
rank or caprice.

Up to that time, as frivolity alone had reigned, the fashion was not
injurious; but the throat, which had hitherto been comparatively free,
now lost that liberty which it has never since regained. In 1660 a
regiment of Croats arrived in France;—a part of their singular costume
excited the greatest admiration, and was immediately and generally
imitated; this was a _tour de cou_, made (for the private soldiers)
of common lace, and of muslin or silk for the officers; the ends were
arranged _en rosette_, or ornamented with a button or tuft, which hung
gracefully on the breast. This new arrangement, which confined the
throat but very slightly, was at first termed a Croat, since corrupted
to Cravat. The Cravats of the officers and people of rank were
extremely fine, and the ends were embroidered or trimmed with broad
lace; those for the lower classes were subsequently made of cloth or
cotton, or at the best of black taffeta, plaited; which was tied round
the neck by two small strings. These strings were at a later period
replaced by clasps, or a buckle, and the Cravat then took the name of

The Cravat at length became universal, and was increased to an almost
incredible size. Some enveloped the neck in entire pieces of muslin;
others wore a stitched stiffener, on which several handkerchiefs were
folded. By this _échafaudage_ the neck was placed on a level with the
head, which in size it surpassed, and with which it was confounded.
The shirt collar rose to the side of the ears, and the top of the
Cravat covered the mouth and lower part of the nose, so that the
face (with the exception of the nose) was concealed by the Cravat
and a forest of whiskers; these rose on each side to the hair, which
was combed down over the eyes. In this costume the _élégans_ bore a
greater resemblance to beasts than men, and the fashion gave rise
to many laughable caricatures. They were compelled to look straight
before them, as the head could only be turned by general consent of
all the members, and the _tout ensemble_ was that of an unfinished

Instances have, however, occurred in which these immense Cravats have
saved the lives of the wearers in battle. One fact, as related by Dr.
Pizis, may be worthy of record. “I was laughing” (says he) “at General
Lepale, on account of his enormous Cravat. At the moment of entering
into action his regiment charged, and after dispersing the enemy’s
cavalry returned to the _bivouac_. I was informed that the General had
been struck by a pistol shot in the throat. I immediately hastened
to his assistance, and was shewn a bullet, which was stopped in its
career by the very Cravat I had just been ridiculing.—Two officers and
several privates had received sabre cuts on the Cravat, and escaped
without injury; so that I was obliged to confess that these immense
bandages were not always useless.”

Singers more than any class of persons, should be careful to avoid
exposing the throat to the cold, a moderate heat contributes to
supple the organs, and renders the voice clearer and more harmonious;
though, on the contrary, it is greatly deteriorated if the throat
is constrained by a tightened Cravat. No part of the body is more
susceptible of cold than the neck; and this susceptibility is the
effect of too much covering in general; but in leaving a ball room,
or any heated place, the greatest care should be taken to defend the
chest and neck from cold.

The natives of the South are but too well acquainted with the danger
of such sudden transitions, and the Spaniards particularly, who always
wear a large handkerchief hanging carelessly from the neck, invariably
wrap themselves in it, when being warm they are suddenly exposed to
the cold.

In short, the Cravat has now arrived at the summit of perfection, and
has been materially assisted in its progress by the use of starch.
The question naturally arises to whom is the world indebted for this
sublime invention? To the English, Russians, Italians, or French?—On
this point we confess ourselves unable to decide. The _blanchisseuses_
of each of those powers have been mainly instrumental in communicating
this important discovery to the world at large.

On our parts, more profound investigations would be unavailing; and it
is only by a continued course of laborious research, that it would be
possible to remove the obscurity which has enveloped the subject of
our labours for so many ages.

[1] “Cravat, from Cravate, which Menage derives from the Croats, a
sort of German troops, usually called Croats, from whom, in 1636, this
ornament, he adds, was adopted.” Todd’s Johnson’s Dictionary.


_Considerations on the origin of Stocks:—their advantages,
inconveniences, colours, forms, and fashions._

Although the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and nearly all the ancient
nations, were unacquainted with the use of Cravats and Stocks,
they wore collars, which may reasonably be considered as the
_avant-couriers_ of both.

Collars, made of the richest metals, and lined with a soft cloth, were
worn, like the modern Stock, to ornament the face and support the
chin. The general use of collars amongst the ancients, and Stocks in
our own times, would almost prove that when man is left to himself,
“his nose is much more inclined to claim acquaintance with the earth,”
(to use the expression of a celebrated French author), “than his eyes
with the Heavens,” as Buffon asserts.

However that may be, collars have been entirely superseded by the
introduction of Stocks: these are in fact collars, though composed of
different materials—they form no wrinkle—make but one turn round the
neck, and are fastened behind by a buckle or clasps.

Stocks were first introduced as military costume about the
commencement of the eighteenth century. Choiseul, minister of war
under Louis XV. presented them to the troops in lieu of the Cravat.

These Stocks were made of black horse-hair, tolerably hard, moderately
wide, and were only injurious when fastened too tightly. In many
regiments, the officers wishing the men to appear healthy, obliged
them to tighten the Stock so as almost to produce suffocation,
instead of allowing them more nourishing food, or of treating them
with more kindness; or, in short, of giving them an opportunity of
acquiring that health, the appearance only of which was produced by
the tightened stock.

The Stock has ever since formed a part of military costume. Invention
has been racked to diversify it as much as possible; and, as
appearance alone was consulted, each change has rendered it more
injurious; it has been transformed into a collar as hard as iron,
by the insertion of a slip of wood, which acting on the larynx, and
compressing every part of the neck, caused the eyes almost to start
from their spheres, and gave the wearer a supernatural appearance
often producing vertigos and faintings, or at least bleeding at the
nose. It rarely happened that a field-day passed over without surgical
aid being required by one or more soldiers, whose illness was only
produced by an over-tightened Stock. As the same kind of Stock was
used for necks of all sizes, whether long or short, thin or thick, it
rendered the weaver, in many cases, almost immoveable; he was scarcely
able to obey the order, “right face—left face,” and was entirely
prohibited from stooping.

Stocks have lately been much improved, and these objections no longer
exist. The best Stocks for general use are made of whalebone, thinned
at the edges, with a border of white leather, which entirely prevents
that unpleasant scratching of the chin so often produced by the
whalebone penetrating the upper part.


The world in general is well informed of the source from which silk
is derived; that it proceeds from an industrious insect of the order
lepidoptera, known as the silk worm; which, in forming a light
soft thread of almost infinite length, produces a bag, in which it
undergoes the transformation from the chrysalis to the butterfly. As
silk occupies so important a station in the toilet, it can hardly be
less important that we should here offer a few remarks upon it.

Among the Romans the use of silk was general: scarcely any other
material was worn on the neck. Augustus always used a silk
handkerchief, and his example was imitated by all the _petits-maitres_
of Rome, among whom the appearance of delicate health was considered
a distinguishing mark of ton. It was also a constant attendant at the
ladies’ toilet (mundus muliebris), and they called the handkerchief
bissyna sudaria. It is probable that the Roman sidon resembled the
large shawls now worn by the English ladies.

It appears that there was a company of silk-women in England as early
as 1455; but these were probably employed in needle-work, as Italy
supplied the broad material. Henry II, is said to have been the first
who wore silk knit stockings; though the invention came from Spain,
whence silk stockings were afterwards brought to Henry VIII. and
Edward VI.

The advantages of this manufacture caused its introduction to be
strongly recommended by James I. and in 1608 mulberry-trees were
planted for the purpose of cultivating the worm—this, however,
failed. Towards the latter end of this king’s reign (about 1620) the
manufacture of broad silk was introduced; and in 1629 was so much
increased that the silk throwsters were incorporated as a public body.
In 1661 above 40,000 persons were employed.

The Revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685, greatly promoted the
English manufactures, as did also the invention of the throwing
machine at Derby in 1719. Great improvements have since taken place,
and our manufacturers now yield the palm to none.

The black silk Cravat is now generally worn, and coloured silk
handkerchiefs have been partially patronized. Napoleon generally
wore a black silk Cravat, as was remarked at Wagram, Lodi, Marengo,
Austerlitz, &c. But at Waterloo it was observed that, contrary to
his usual custom, he wore a white handkerchief, with a flowing bow,
although the day previous he appeared in his black Cravat.

Coloured handkerchiefs should be as plain as possible; we must,
however, give it as our opinion, that they can only be worn _en
déshabille_ at home, or when going to bathe, ride, &c. early in the


Putting on the Cravat.

[Illustration: Plate A.

    _Fig. 1._

    _Fig. 2._

    _Fig. 3._ _Russian Stocks._

    _Fig. 4._ _Whalebone Stiffner._

    _Fig. 5._

    _Fig. 6._ _Shirt Collar._

_Ingrey & Madeley Lithog. 310 Strand._]


_Preliminary and indispensible Instructions._

When the Cravats are brought from the laundress they should undergo a
careful examination, previous to classing them, to ascertain whether
they are properly washed, ironed, and folded; and for the purpose of
deciding on the exact style in which each may be worn with the best
effect. The _set_ of the Cravat and the neatness of the tie entirely
depends on its being correctly _got_ up.

       *       *       *       *       *

If these requisites are not carefully attended to, the Cravat
immediately fades and becomes yellow, whilst on the contrary, if
properly prepared, it presents an elegant and _recherché_ appearance.

       *       *       *       *       *

Starch gives a combination of substance, elasticity, and suppleness
to the handkerchief, and by filling up the smallest holes effectually
excludes the cold air in winter. In summer it also possesses the
incalculable advantage of preventing the Cravat from adhering too
closely to the neck, and thereby producing an uncomfortable heat.

       *       *       *       *       *

Whatever style may have been adopted in putting on the Cravat, when
the knot is once formed (whether good or bad) it should not be
changed under any pretence whatever.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the duties of the toilet, we may compare the tie of the Cravat to
the _liaisons de sauces blanches_ of the kitchen; the least error is
fatal to the whole composition of either, and as a new sauce must
be prepared, with entirely fresh ingredients, so must a new tie be
produced by a fresh Cravat.

       *       *       *       *       *

When the Cravat is satisfactorily arranged, the finger must be passed
lightly along the top, to smooth and thin it, and cause it to coincide
with the shirt collar.

       *       *       *       *       *

A small iron, with a handle, made expressly for the purpose, and
moderately warm, is the best instrument for producing a thin and
equal edge to the Cravat; it will also serve to smooth the tie; but
great care must be taken that it is clean and glossy, as without this
precaution spots will be inevitable.

    See plate A, fig. 5.

       *       *       *       *       *

When a Cravat has not been previously folded by the laundress, and
you have prepared it yourself, of the exact height required by the
style you intend to adopt, particular attention should be paid to the
folding the ends, one of which must be folded _down_ and the other
_up_, as it may be, the right or left end.

    Plate A, fig 2.

       *       *       *       *       *

The great advantages of this method will be immediately perceptible,
in the prevention of that disagreeable prominence which is generally
produced at the back of the neck by the junction of the ends; which
being brought to the front without being soiled, or tumbled in the
slightest degree, are more easily formed into an elegant tie.

       *       *       *       *       *

The same care and attention are necessary to the back as to the front
of the Cravat.

       *       *       *       *       *

Although coloured Cravats are made of more costly materials than those
which are entirely plain, it is most clearly laid down, as a rule in
the laws of taste, that they can be admitted only as undress costume.

The white Cravat, with spots or squares, is received as half-dress;
but the plain white alone is allowed at balls or _soirées_.

The black Stock, or Cravat, is only suited to military men, not on
service, who are dressed in plain clothes. As to coloured Cravats,
they are entirely prohibited in evening parties.

[Illustration: Plate B.

    _Fig 6._ _Folding of the Cravat._

    _Fig. 7._ _1st time._

    _Fig. 8._ _2nd time._

    _Fig. 9._ _3rd time._

    _Fig. 10._ _4th time._

    _Fig 11._ _5th time._

_Ingrey & Madeley Lithog. 310 Strand._]


Nœud Gordien.

Plate B, fig. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

It would be very difficult to offer to our readers an exact and
perfectly intelligible explanation of this most elegant style—of the
sovereign of Cravat ties, the _Nœud Gordien_, the origin of which is
lost in the obscurity of antiquity.

Notwithstanding the laborious researches we have bestowed on this
interesting subject, we have hitherto been unable to discover the name
of the genius to whom the honor of this invention is due. We only know
(and it is, we believe, generally known) that Alexander the great,
irritated at being unable to comprehend the theory of its composition,
and determined not to be foiled, adopted the shorter and easier method
of solving the question—that of cutting it with his sword.

In our own times we occasionally meet with young aspirants, who, in
the fullest acceptation of the term, adopt the Gordian tie; with this
difference, however, that when they wish to untie it, as a sword like
that of the Macedonian monarch is too cumbersome for their delicate
hands, they make use of a pair of scissors, with which they are more
familiar—but to our subject.

We confess, with regret, that we can only speak imperfectly of this
interesting tie; but as theory is nothing when compared to practice,
we will endeavour to address ourselves to the eyes, rather than to
the judgment of our readers, in the conviction that, though we may be
unable to accomplish our object entirely, we shall, at least, approach
it as nearly as possible. Attention!


In the first place, the Cravat for this tie must be of ample size,
and properly starched, ironed, and folded (_as shewn plate B. fig.
6_); whether it be plain or coloured is of little consequence; but a
rather stout one should be preferred, as it will offer more facilities
to the daring fingers of the beginner who attempts to accomplish this

It will then be necessary to meditate deeply and seriously on the five
following directions.

I. When you have decided on the Cravat, it must be placed on the neck,
and the ends left hanging (_as shewn plate B, fig. 7, first time_).

II. You must take the point K, pass it on the inside of the point Z,
and raise it (_same plate, fig. 8, second time_).

III. You lower the point K on the tie, now half formed O (_same plate,
fig. 9, third time_).

IV. Then, without leaving the point K, you bend it inside and draw it
between the point Z, which you repass to the left, Y; in the tie now
formed, Y, O, you thus accomplish the formation of the destined knot.

V. and last. After having tightened the knot, and flattened it with
the thumb and fore-finger, or more properly with the iron, mentioned
in the preceding lesson (_see plate A, fig. 5_); you lower the points,
K, Z, cross them, and place a pin at the point of junction H, and at
once solve the problem of the _Nœud Gordien_.

He who is perfectly conversant with the theory and practice of this
tie, may truly boast that he possesses the key to all the others,
which are, in fact, derived from this alone. A Cravat which has been
once worn in this way, can only be used afterwards _en negligé_, as it
will be so much tumbled by this intricate arrangement.

The slightest error in the first fold of this tie will render all
succeeding efforts, with the same handkerchief, entirely useless—we
have said it.

We would, therefore, seriously advise any one who really desires to
be initiated in the mysteries of this delightful science, to make his
first essay on a moderate sized block. We can confidently assure him,
that with moderate perseverance, he will soon be enabled to pursue his
studies with pleasure and advantage—on himself.

(A careful examination of the figures referred to in this lesson is
strongly recommended).

[Illustration: Plate C.

    _Fig. 12._ _L’Orientale._

    _Fig. 13._ _L’Américaine._

    _Fig. 14._ _Collier de Cheval._

    _Fig. 15._ _Sentimentale._

    _Fig. 16._ _A la Byron._

    _Fig. 17._ _En Cascade._

    _Fig. 18._ _A la Bergami._

    _Fig. 19._ _De Bal._

    _Fig. 20._ _Mathématique._

    _Fig. 21._ _Irlandaise._

    _Fig. 22._ _Maratte._

    _Fig. 23._ _Gastronome._]


Cravate à l’Orientale.

Plate C, fig. 12.

The shape of the _Cravate à l’Orientale_, is that of a turban, and the
ends form a crescent; in this instance we wear that under the chin,
which the Mahometans wear above the forehead.

One of our antiquarian friends, who has devoted his time to long and
laborious researches on the origin of Cravats, asserts, that the real
_Cravate à l’Orientale_ consists of a very small silken cord; and that
in the highest circles of Turkey, it is sometimes the custom to draw
it tighter than the human frame can well bear; he very properly adds
that this fashion produces the most serious results to the health of
any one who is suddenly compelled to adopt it.

The Cravat, for this style, must be small, that it may present two
small ends only; these must be strongly starched at the tips, that
they may retain the form of the crescent, as not the slightest wrinkle
can be suffered. A whalebone stiffener must, therefore, be used, as
the least deviation from this rule will entirely deprive it of its
denomination _Orientale_.

The _Cravate à l’Orientale_ must be of the purest white muslin, or
white cachemire.

    See plate referred to.


Cravate à l’Américaine.

See plate C, fig. 13.

The _Cravate à l’Américaine_ is extremely pretty and easily formed,
provided the handkerchief is well starched.

When it is correctly formed, it presents the appearance of a column,
destined to support a Corinthian capital. This style has many admirers
here, and also among our friends, the fashionables of the New World,
who pride themselves on its name, which they call “Independence;” this
title may, to a certain point, be disputed, as the neck is fixed in a
kind of vice, which entirely prohibits any very free movements.

The _Cravate à l’Américaine_ requires a whalebone stiffener, and is
commenced in the same way as the _Nœud Gordien_; the ends are brought
in front, as shown in fig. 8, plate C, are lowered as in fig. 9 (same
plate), and fastened to the shirt bosom, like the _Cravate en Cascade_.

The prevailing colour is sea green, or striped blue, red and white.

    See plate referred to.


Cravate Collier de Cheval.

Plate C, fig. 14.

This style greatly resembles the _Orientale_, from which it is
evidently derived. It has been greatly admired by the fair sex, who
have praised it to their husbands, their lovers, and even to their
friends and relations; and have thus promoted its adoption by every
means in their power.

The ends are fastened at the back of the neck, or are concealed in the
folds; a whalebone stiffener is requisite, but starch is unnecessary.

Cravats with horizontal stripes, or large spots, are preferred. The
most becoming colour is that called Russia leather. Black is sometimes
worn, but the shirt bosom must then be plaited.

Human life is often compared to a painful journey; and it is probably
on the same philosophical principle that the _Cravate Collier de
Cheval_ was considered a proper costume for man, who often drags on
his weary way, loaded with evils more insupportable than the heaviest

This style is, however, (in our opinion) rather vulgar, and we have
introduced it here, more that it may be avoided as an instance of
false taste, than as a model to copy.

It is folded as shewn in plate A, fig. 1.

    See plate referred to.


Cravate Sentimentale.

Plate C, fig. 15.

The name alone of this Cravat is sufficient to explain that it is not
alike suitable to all faces.

You, then, whom nature has not gifted with skins of silk—eyes of
fire—with complexions rivalling the rose and lily;—you, to whom she
has denied pearly teeth and coral lips (a gift which in our opinion
would be rather inconvenient)—you, in fact, whose faces do not possess
that sympathetic charm, which in a moment, at a glance, spreads
confusion o’er the senses, and disorder and trouble in the hearts of
all who behold you—be careful how you expose to public gaze a head
like that of a peruquier. We repeat—avoid it; and be assured that if
your physiognomy does not inspire sensations of love and passion, and
you should adopt the _Cravate Sentimentale_, you will be a fair butt
for the shafts of ridicule, which (with no unsparing hand) will be
showered upon you on all sides.

It is, therefore, for the juvenile only that it is at all adapted,
and there should even be something boyish in the general appearance
of the wearer. It may, then, be worn from the age of seventeen to
twenty-seven; but after that age it cannot, with propriety, be
patronized by even the most agreeable.

It must be allowed that this style is completely opposed to the
_Orientale_ and _Collier de Cheval_. It must be strongly starched, and
fastened with a single _rosette_ at the top, as near as possible to
the chin.

It is more fashionable in the country than in town. Cambric is
generally preferred.

    See plate referred to.


Cravate à la Byron.

Plate C, fig. 16.

As Lord Byron differed so widely from the world in general, we can
hardly expect to find in the Cravat worn by this prince of poets,
any of that _élégance recherchée_ which generally characterize
an Englishman of rank. It is universally allowed that the least
constraint of the body has a corresponding effect on the mind, and it
must, therefore, be admitted, that to a certain extent, a tight Cravat
will cramp the imagination, and, as it were, suffocate the thoughts.

That Lord Byron feared this effect, is proved from his submitting to
the inconveniences of a Cravat, only when accommodating himself to the
_bienséances_ of society; and in every portrait where he is painted in
the ardour of composition, his neck is always free from the trammels
of the neckcloth.

The Cravat which bears the name of this noble author, differs widely
from most others—this difference consists in the manner in which it is
first placed on the neck. It is commenced at the back of the neck—the
ends are then brought in front under the chin, and fastened in a
large bow, or _rosette_, at least six inches in length and four in

This fashion is extremely comfortable in summer, and during long
journeys, as it forms but one turn round the neck, which is thus left
comparatively free.

Either black or white may be worn, but it should not be starched, and
is folded as shewn in plate A, fig. 1.

    See plate referred to.


Cravate en Cascade.

See plate C, fig. 17.

The _Cravate en Cascade_ is formed by making a single knot, like that
in the second lesson, plate B, fig. 8, and leaving one end longer
than the other; the longer, after being brought on the inside (as in
the plate and figure referred to) must be lowered so as to cover the
whole of the knot—carefully spread out as wide as possible, and then
fastened to the bosom of the shirt. The _tout ensemble_ will then
present the appearance of the _Cascade_, or _Jet d’Eau_ in the bason
of the Palais Royal.

This style is generally followed by valets, butlers and other
fashionables of the same _grade_.

The handkerchief should not be starched.

    See plate referred to.


Cravate à la Bergami.

Plate C, fig. 18.

Like the _Cravate à la Byron_, which it greatly resembles, the
_Bergami_ is first placed at the back of the neck—the ends are brought
forward and crossed on the breast, without being tied, and then
fastened to the braces; some pass them under the arms, and tie them on
the back; but the handkerchief must then be very large, and folded as
shewn in plate B, fig 6.

    See plate referred to.


Cravate de Bal.

Plate C, fig. 19.

The _Cravate de Bal_ should not be tied, but fastened with pins to
the braces, or to the shirt, in the same way as the _Bergami_. Some
pass the ends under the arms, and tie them on the back; but as this
method is inconvenient, from the handkerchief moving with the body in
dancing, we would recommend the two first.

It should be simply and plainly folded, (as shewn in plate B, fig. 6),
and must be tolerably large.

The _Cravate de Bal_, when carefully put on is delightfully elegant;
it partakes of the elegant _sévérité_ of the _Mathématique_, combined
with the _laissez-aller_ of the _Bergami_, whilst it unites the
advantages of both; it is in fact, a derivation from them.

We must here enter an entire prohibition against colours of every kind
for the _Cravate de Bal_—white must reign alone.

The Cravat should be but slightly starched.

    See plate referred to.


Cravate Mathématique.

Plate C, fig. 20.

Regularity and proportion are the essentials of every art.

In a beautiful landscape we are occasionally delighted with the
knotted and bent trunk of the majestic oak; but the correct and
beautiful proportion of a Grecian column (even in ruins) rivets our
attention and excites our wonder and admiration.

The _Cravate Mathématique_ is a combination of symmetry and
regularity—the style is grave and severe, and the slightest wrinkle
is strictly prohibited. The ends should be geometrically correct,
and must bear examination even by the aid of a compass; they should
descend obliquely from each side, and form two acute angles in
crossing—all the folds in a horizontal direction, forming the two
acute and opposite angles of a triangle, which the _Mathématique_ must
always strictly represent.

Black is generally worn, and is made either of taffeta or Levantine.

A whalebone stiffener is requisite.

    See plate referred to.


Cravate à l’Irlandaise.

Plate C, fig. 21.

This Cravat very closely resembles the _Mathématique_, and differs
only in the arrangement of the ends, which in the _Irlandaise_ are
joined in front and twine round each other—each end is then brought
back to the side it comes from, and is fastened at the back of the

This difference, which would be invisible to a superficial observer,
will not escape the critical eye of an _élégant_, accustomed to peruse
this important work with the care and attention it merits.

The _Irlandaise_ is not confined to any particular colour, and the
handkerchief need not be starched, but a whalebone stiffener is

    See plate referred to.


Cravate à la Maratte.

Plate C, fig. 22.

The Cravat for this style should be of the finest and whitest India
muslin. Like the _Byron_, it is commenced at the back of the neck, and
linked like a chain; the ends may either be fastened like those of
the _Cravat de Bal_ (to the braces, or on the back), or to the shirt

The _Maratte_ does not require starch, and should be simply and
plainly folded.

    See plate referred to.


Cravate à la Gastronome.

Plate C, fig. 23.

The _véritable Cravate à la Gastronome_ is a handkerchief of any
kind, without starch, folded on a stiffener of at most three fingers
in depth, and thrown rather than fastened round the neck: it is
more particularly distinguished by the tie which confines the ends;
this greatly resembles the _Nœud Gordien_ in elasticity, with this
difference, however, that it slackens and yields to the slightest
movement of the neck—to the least vacillation of the jaws, and
even to that slight swelling of the throat which in men decidedly
distinguished for gastronomic talents, so often produces impeded
respiration. It also possesses the great advantage of loosening itself
in cases of indigestion, apoplexy, or fainting.

The _Gastronome_ is seldom worn previous to the age of forty, but this
greatly depends on climate and constitution.

    See plate referred to.

[Illustration: Plate D.

    _Fig. 24._ _De Chasse._

    _Fig. 25._ _En Valise._

    _Fig. 26._ _Coquille._

    _Fig. 27._ _A la Colin._

    _Fig. 28._ _A la Parresseuse._

    _Fig. 29._ _A la Talma._

    _Fig. 30._ _A l’Italienne._

    _Fig. 31._ _A la Russe._

    _Fig. 32._ _Jesuitique._

Ingrey & Madeley Lithog. 310 Strand.]


Eighteen different methods of putting on the Cravat.

    Plate D, figures 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and 32.

Although this lesson comprehends eighteen different methods of
wearing the Cravat, yet as they are nearly all derived from some
of those already explained, it is but little longer than any one of
them. It is placed nearly at the end of the work as it is absolutely
necessary that the thirteen first should be well studied and digested,
previous to entering upon this; for it would be as vain for a veteran
_fashionable_ to attempt the formation of any of the following,
without having previously made himself acquainted with the preceding,
as for a young mathematician to attempt an explanation of the third
book of Legendre, without having studied the first and second.

Cravate de Chasse.

This Cravat is by some _élégans_ called _à la Diane_, although it is
a kind of poetical license to suppose that this rather unfashionable
Goddess wore one. It is doubly crossed on the neck, as shewn in
the _Cravate à l’Américaine_ (plate C, fig. 13). It should not be
starched, and must be folded plainly, as shewn in plate A, fig.
1—the colour must be deep green, or _feuille morte_, which is more

    See plate D, fig. 24.

Cravate à la Diane.

Exactly similar to the last, but the colour must be white.

Cravate à l’Anglaise.

Is formed in the same way as the _Nœud Gordien_, but is never starched.

    See plate B, fig. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

Cravate à l’Indépendance.

The same as the _Américaine_, except in colour; it is composed of
red, blue and white, in alternate stripes; all other shades are
strictly prohibited.

    See plate C, fig. 13.

Cravate en Valise.

Is composed like the _Nœud Gordien_, except the ends, which, instead
of being brought down, are turned inside the knot; the handkerchief
must be rather small, or it will be impossible to conceal the ends,
which with the knot should present the appearance of a travelling

The favourite colour is that of Russia leather.

    See plate D, fig. 25.

Cravate en Coquille.

The tie of this Cravat should resemble a shell; it is very pleasing,
and easily formed; it consists of a double or triple knot, and the
ends are fastened at the back of the neck. It does not require starch,
and may be worn with or without a whalebone stiffener.

The colour may be that most pleasing to the wearer.

    See plate D, fig. 26.

Cravate de Voyage.

Is put on in the same way as the _Byron_.

Cravate à la Colin.

Is commenced like the _Byron_, _Bergami_, and _Talma_; a mere knot is
made, the ends left loose, and shirt collar turned down, as shewn in
the _Cravate Jesuitique_.

This style possesses the great advantage of preventing the wearer
from entering any public place, and of causing him to be shewn
(politely) to the door of any private house.

    See plate D, fig. 27 and 32.

Cravate en Jet d’Eau.

The same as the _Cravate en Cascade_.

    See plate C, fig. 17.

Cravate Casse Cœur.

The same as the _Bergami_; the favourite colour is red (_Sang de

    See plate C, fig. 18.

Cravate à la Paresseuse.

The _Paresseuse_ is undoubtedly one of the most convenient and easy
methods of wearing the Cravat. It has been rather neglected, and we
think unjustly so, as it combines the advantage of concealing the
shirt of the wearer, and displaying the handkerchief to advantage. It
may be put on in a moment, and this style can be adopted with complete
success in wearing a handkerchief a second time. It should be prepared
as shewn in plate A, fig. 2; placed on the front of the neck, the ends
are passed round and crossed on the chest, as shewn in plate D, fig.

Married men and antiquated beaux seem to be its greatest admirers; it
may be starched or not ad libitum.

Cravate Romantique.

The same as the _Byron_; it is chiefly worn in the country, and the
prevailing colour is _solitaire_.

    See plate C, fig. 16.

Cravate à la Fidélité.

The same as the _Mathématique_. The privates of the ex-national guard
of France wore it when in uniform, and it has since been recommended
to the ex-ministry of our own country. It must be black, and folded on
a whalebone stiffener, and should be so carefully put on as to prevent
all appearance of the shirt, except the collar, which must be of the
most dazzling white.

    See plate C, fig. 20.

Cravate à la Talma.

This style is worn in mourning only. It is placed on the neck in the
same way as the _Byron_ and _Bergami_.

    See plate D, fig. 29.

Cravate à l’Italienne.

Is formed in nearly the same manner as the _Irlandaise_, but instead
of turning the ends round each other, they are passed through a ring,
returned to the side they come from and fastened at the back of the
neck by a small knot.

It requires a whalebone stiffener, and should be prepared as shewn in
plate A, fig. 1. Starch is unnecessary. White only is admissible.

    See plate D, fig. 30.

Cravate Diplomatique.

The same as the _Cravate à la Gastronome_.

    See plate C, fig. 28.

Cravate à la Russe.

In this style are included all Cravats which are fastened at the back
of the neck, without the ends being at all brought in front; these
should not be concealed under the Cravat, but down the back, and care
must be taken to prevent their rising above the waistcoat. Any colour
is allowed, and starch may be used or not ad libitum.

    See plate D, fig. 31.

Cravate Jesuitique.

This is a Cravat in appearance only.

For this style the waistcoat must be made _en cuirasse_, and the
collar must be high enough to conceal the neck entirely. The shirt
collar is turned down and forms a kind of band.

Although this style has lately become very general, we have never
been at all prepossessed in its favour; not merely because it is
unpleasant to the eye, but that we rather pride ourselves in despising
most cordially whatever has the least resemblance to the name or
quality of a Jesuit.

    See plate D, fig. 32.

       *       *       *       *       *

In closing this lesson, we must observe, that although we have
specified the colour which fashion seems to have patronized for each
particular style of Cravat, we do not (in any instance) intend to
exclude the chaste simplicity of white, which may be introduced in any
of them.



_Important and necessary Observations._

In all cases of apoplexy, fainting, or illness in general, it is
requisite to loosen or even remove the Cravat immediately.

       *       *       *       *       *

The greatest insult that can be offered to a man, _comme il faut_, is
to seize him by the Cravat; in this case blood only can wash out the
stain upon the honour of either party.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Cravat should invariably be loosened before the commencement of
study, or of any important business.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those who have a short neck, high shoulders, a round, full, and fresh
coloured face, and who are at all subject to head aches, beatings of
the temples, &c. should be most careful to wear the Cravat loose; the
neglect of this precaution will generally produce an attack of the
complaint to which they may be liable.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those who are accustomed to sleep in the Cravat, should be most
careful in examining whether it be loose. In all cases of organic
diseases of the heart, or large vessels, &c. it should be entirely

       *       *       *       *       *

Lastly.—Every person at all accustomed to travel, and who has the
least respect for his appearance, should provide himself with a box
for containing a collection of Cravats.

This box must be divided into several compartments, and be made of the
following proportions; eighteen inches in length, six inches in width,
and twelve in depth, it should contain,

1 A dozen (at least) of plain white Cravats.

2 The same quantity of spotted and striped white Cravats.

3 A dozen coloured ditto.

4 Three dozen (at least) shirt collars.

5 Two whalebone stiffeners.

6 Two black silk Cravats.

7 The small iron mentioned in the first lesson.

8 As many copies as possible, of this important and useful work,
taking the precaution of having them _well bound_, that they may
occupy less room.[2]

[2] Editor’s opinion.


_On the Importance of the Cravat in Society._

When a man of rank makes his _entrée_ into a circle distinguished for
taste and elegance, and the usual compliments have passed on both
sides, he will discover that his coat will attract only a slight
degree of attention, but that the most critical and scrutinizing
examination will be made on the _set_ of his Cravat. Should this
unfortunately, not be correctly and elegantly put on—no further notice
will be taken of him; whether his coat be of the reigning fashion
or not will be unnoticed by the assembly—all eyes will be occupied
in examining the folds of the fatal Cravat. His reception will in
future be cold, and no one will move on his entrance;—but if his
Cravat is _savamment_ and elegantly formed—although his coat may not
be of the last _cut_—every one will rise to receive him with the most
distinguished marks of respect, will cheerfully resign their seats
to him, and the delighted eyes of all will be fixed on that part
of his person which separates the shoulders from the chin—let him
speak downright nonsense he will be applauded to the skies; it will
be said—“this man has critically and deeply studied the thirty-two
lessons on the Art of Tying the Cravat.”—But again reverse the
picture—it will be found that the unfortunate individual who is not
aware of the existence of this justly celebrated work—however well
informed he may be on other subjects—will be considered as an ignorant
pretender, and will be compelled to suffer the impertinence of the
fop, who will treat him with disdain, merely because his Cravat is not
correctly disposed—he will moreover be obliged to hear in silence,
and to approve (under pain of being considered unacquainted with the
common rules of politeness) all the remarks which he will thus subject
himself to—occasionally relieved by hearing a whisper of “He cannot
even put on a Cravat properly.”




    Introduction                                            iii

                         THE CRAVAT.

    Its philosophical, moral, and political history; with
      reflections on its influence on society—from its
      origin to the present time                              9

                          THE STOCK.

    Its origin—inconvenience and advantages—its colour,
      form, &c.                                              17

    The black and coloured silk Cravat                       21

                        FIRST LESSON.

    Preliminary observations                                 25

                        SECOND LESSON.

    Cravate Nœud Gordien                                     30

                        THIRD LESSON.

    —— à l’Orientale                                         34

                        FOURTH LESSON.

    —— à l’Américaine                                        36

                        FIFTH LESSON.

    —— Collier de Cheval                                     37

                        SIXTH LESSON.

    —— Sentimentale                                          39

                       SEVENTH LESSON.

    —— à la Byron                                            41

                        EIGHTH LESSON.

    —— en Cascade                                            43

                        NINTH LESSON.

    —— à la Bergami                                          44

                        TENTH LESSON.

    —— de Bal                                                45

                       ELEVENTH LESSON.

    —— Mathématique                                          46

                       TWELFTH LESSON.

    —— à l’Irlandaise                                        48

                      THIRTEENTH LESSON.

    —— à la Maratte                                          49

                      FOURTEENTH LESSON.

    —— à la Gastronome                                       50

                      FIFTEENTH LESSON.

    Eighteen different methods of putting on the Cravat      51

    Cravate de Chasse                                        52

    —— à la Diane                                            53

    —— à l’Anglaise                                          ib.

    —— à l’Indépendance                                      ib.

    —— en Valise                                             54

    —— en Coquille                                           ib.

    —— de Voyage                                             55

    —— à la Colin                                            ib.

    —— en Jet-d’Eau                                          56

    —— Casse-Cœur                                            ib.

    —— à la Paresseuse                                       57

    —— Romantique                                            ib.

    —— à la Fidélité                                         58

    —— à la Talma                                            ib.

    —— à l’Italienne                                         59

    —— Diplomatique                                          ib.

    —— à la Russe                                            60

    —— Jesuitique                                            ib.

                 SIXTEENTH LESSON, AND LAST.

    Important and necessary observations                     62


    On the Importance of the Cravat in society               65

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