Scarves are fashionable and every woman has at least one. They are commonly associated with high fashion and are quite chic. In ancient times though, scarves were not so glamorous. During the times of the Greeks and Romans, scarves were called ‘sudarim’ which means ‘sweat cloth’. It was worn to absorb sweat while travelling or working on a hot day.
In the Middle Ages all the way up to the Renaissance, scarves did start to change in significance and use, and were worn to signify being part of the upper levels of society. This was owed heavily to the trade routes between the Far East and China – bringing in fine fabrics and materials, including silks. Only the richest people were able to purchase silk, and scarves were primarily made out of silk during these times.
In the West, scarves are used mostly as a fashion accessory, to accentuate one’s outfit, or as part of protective clothing worn depending on the weather. Other cultures use scarves to abide by religious laws, such as the hijab or scarf worn by Muslim women to cover their heads. This is part of the abaya, worn over their clothes as a sign of modesty.
Scarves are quite the practical solution during the winter, providing much needed warmth or even protection against the wind or dust.
Scarves are also great at making any dull outfit looking stunning. It can be worn in many ways, around the shoulders, draped across your neck, as a bandana or whatever else you come up with.