The ruff, one of the more eccentric garments of the Elizabethan era, was a fashion statement to rival those of the 1970s. Starting life as a simple collar, the ruff grew more elaborate through the course of Elizabeth I’s rule to become symbolic of the era. It was a circular collar made from a pleated frill worn by both men and women. On women it covered the neck, chin, shoulders, and breast, and on men it covered the neck and shoulders.
in dresswear, crimped or pleated collar or frill, usually wide and full, worn in Europe, especially from the mid-16th century into the 17th century, by both men and women. The beginnings of the ruff can be seen in the early years of the 16th century, when men allowed the top of the shirt to be exposed. A drawstring through the top, when pulled tight, created an incipient
ruff. The ruff increased in size, becoming a symbol of the aristocracy
. Women wanted to show their status in society and also wished to expose the bosom, so the ruff developed as a half circle—open in front and rising in back.
Constructing Elizabethan Ruffs
There are as many ways to construct neck ruffs as there are people who have constructed them. This page contains the collected wisdom of a number of people concerning the construction, starching and care of ruffs, supportasses and underproppers of all kinds. One can also find good instructions for constructing a variety of neck ruffs in Jean Hunnisett's Period Patterns for Stage & Screen 1500-1800, and slightly less authentic methods in the book Elizabethan Costuming by Janet Winter & Carolyn Savoy. The Costume Technician's Handbook by Rosemary Ingham also covers the subject in brief. Pictures of many period ruffs can be found in Janet Arnold's book Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlocked, and in several books of Elizabethan portraits such as Jane Ashelford's Visual History of 16th Century Costume.
Zwei Kommentatorinnen berichten, dass die Halskrausen bis heute in kirchlichen Amtstrachten weiterleben, z.B. in Skandinavien, den Hansestädten und Augsburg.
3. Trug man die unbequemen Kragen auch im Alltag?
Dazu habe ich nach Bildern aus dem Alltagsleben im Barock gesucht. Zum Glück wird man auch dazu in der Sammlung des Rijksmuseums in Amsterdam fündig. Ausschnitte aus einer Winterszene von Hendrick Avercamp, ca. 1620,
zeigen: Die Bevölkerung ging mit Halskrause zum Schlittschuhlaufen, aber Bettler und einfache Menschen hatten eher keine.