~HISTORY OF LACE and COLLARED RUFFS~
There are quite a few sidesteps to make when it comes down to the history of lace.
And why not start with those collars or elaborate ruffs we see wealthy women, men, and children wear as from mid-15th century Europe?
Around the mid-15th century up to the mid-16th century, we find the development of a new trend in Europe for the rich; stiffened fabric collars.
To start off with, they would be just a simple ruffle at the neck of a shirt or chemise.
These separate collars were there also for a practical reason and that was to prevent the gown or shirt from getting soiled at the neckline.
Now peeps didn’t need to launder their main clothing items as often, but just the collar.
Next to this, stiffened collars would force you in a more upright position and that just looked mighty chic, right?
There was quite the variety of collars, but often worn were these stiffened ruffs called millstone collars because…they resembled millstones.
~POP YOUR COLLAR~
These collars started off being made from materials like “cambric”.
Cambric is a finely and dense woven material with a smooth surface, which of course lent itself well to be starched.
At first, cambric was made from linen, but later the name cambric was also given to the similarly woven cotton material.
Anyway, as time passed on and trends changed, so did the fabric of choice.
Lace started to be used more and more in the collar-realm and the starch started to stiffen more and more lace fabrics to glorious heights.
So there is a little drop of history of lace for you.
And the collars never looked as fab as when they were conjured up from lace.
~LACE HISTORY AND STARCHING YOUR COLLAR~
Back then, in the 15th century, starch was made by boiling bran in water.
After doing this, it was left alone for about three days solid and then the bran would be sifted out.
This process would produce a kind of sour water.
Cloth would be dipped into this starchy water and then dried.
After drying the material it was smoothed and polished with a slick stone (a predecessor of the iron).
It was quite a time-consuming process, so it was totally a luxury thing.
Because it was so popular and so high-end, there would be even more “starchers” out there than ever before to meet the demand.
And the result was just collar-liscious!
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