The cravat is an early version of a man’s necktie. It could be a plain piece of white linen tied around the neck, with the free ends falling below the throat. A gentleman’s cravat would have been decorated with fine lace, as lace was especially fashionable for men in the 17th century. During this period, the greatest lace makers were working in Italy and Belgium. France, however, wished to create a competing industry that would stop the costly imports of lace.
cravat, France, needle lace, fashion, 17th century, Charles LeBrun, Jean Bèrain the elder