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Cravat - Necktie Made in Croatia!

Updated on December 30, 2010

From the Homeland of First Tie

Did you know that Croatia is the mother country of the necktie?

In his book, La Grande Histoire de la Cravate (Flamarion, Paris, 1994), Francois Chaille tells us about the appearance of this article of clothing and how it became fashionable.

"... Around the year 1635, some six thousand soldiers and knights came to Paris to give their support to King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu. Among them were a great number of Croatian mercenaries led by a ban, or Croatian viceroy.

The traditional outfit of these Croats aroused interest on account of the unusual and picturesque scarves distinctively tied about their necks. The scarves were made of various cloths, ranging from coarse material for common soldiers, to fine cotton and silk for officers. This elegant "Croatian style" immediately enamoured the French, who were delighted by the new article of clothing, which had been previously unknown in Europe.

For the gallant French officers in the thirty-year war, the advantage of the Croatian neck scarf was its enviable practicality. In contrast to the lace collar that had to be kept white and carefully starched, the scarf was simply and loosely tied around the neck without need for any additional care. Just as elegant as the stiff, high collars, the new scarves were less awkward, easier to wear and remained visible beneath the soldiers' thick, long hair.

Around the year 1650, during the reign of Louis XIV, the Croatian scarf was accepted in France, above all in court, where military ornaments were much admired. The fashionable expression, 'a la croate', soon evolved into a new French word, which still exists today: la cravate. This innovation symbolized the height of culture and elegance. On his return to England from exile, Charles II brought with him this new word in fashion. Over the next ten years, this fashion novelty spread across Europe, as well as across the colonies on the American continent..."

Since that time in the 17th century, derivatives of the word croata have been present in many languages, (i.e., English, German, French, Portuguese, Italian), meaning cravat or tie. It follows then that Croatia is the mother country of the necktie, as France is the mother country of high fashion, Brazil of coffee, Switzerland of cheese and watches, Portugal of port wine etc.

Cravat Psychology

Tie can tell who wears it!

Psychology and clinic psychology have studied the cravat as a unique fashion phenomenon. Here are some interesting insights.

If a person wears only one cravat type:

- striped patterns reveal a powerful will and power aspirations

- conservative people wear green cravats

- people who want to please everybody wear polka-dot patterns

- eccentric people wear flashy cravats

- introverted people usually wear black cravats.

Tie Dye! The How-To Book
Tie Dye! The How-To Book

Learn the secrets of tie dying and create your own beautiful fabrics. Tie dying is an ancient art form developed in the Far East over a thousand years ago. This user-friendly book will show you how to create seven unique and beautiful designs. Clear, simple instructions, including photos of each stage of the tying and dying, will guide you through the process. Full color photos show the stunning results possible. Includes a source listing for permanent, high quality dyes.


What does your cravat choice say about you?

Neckties reveal your habits, vices and whims!

There is no color, pattern or shape that popular psychology will not associate with a certain character trait. According to some psychologic research, in their stripes, colours, squares and dots cravats hide habits, vices and whims of their owners.

If one is interested in making witty remarks when passing someone in the street, here is a list of necktie colours and patterns that will tell one what is happening behind the official facade.

Blue cravat - blue is the colour of eternity; it symbolises wholeness, peace, and a person wearing a blue tie is probably honest, quiet and calm.

Red cravat - Beware! Red is ambiguous! It can mean love and anger, courage and danger and it can also have a sexual message. The meaning depends on the mood, circumstances and the intentions of the "wearer". Psychologists find a red tie most challenging to analyse, thus women consider a man in a red tie a mysterious adventurer.

Black cravat - A traditional tie is usually worn to funerals, but if combined with some contrasting colours and patterns, it can mean elegance and moderation.

Yellow cravat - Young, hopeful, happy! What else can be associated with such a funky color?

Green cravat - Besides having an ecological meaning, psychologists find a green tie fairy-tale like; it expresses the wisdom of wood nymphs. You can finish the idea yourself!

Brown cravat - Firstly, one cannot tell when it is dirty; secondly, it symbolises down-to-earthiness. Reddish-brown is stylish and associated with professionalism and sexuality.

How to Tie a Tie Video
How to Tie a Tie Video

It was Oscar Wilde who said, "A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life". For most young men learning how to tie a tie was a rushed process in which a frustrated father tried to teach his son moments before a formal event, as mother stood by the door cajoling "come on honey we re going to be late". The How to Tie a Tie Video is a pleasant departure from this common early experience. The teacher in this case is a series of easy to follow DVD chapters that the aspiring student can watch on his or her own time. The lessons are clear, simple and straight to the point. The four major knots, the Windsor Knot, Half Windsor, Four-in-Hand Knot and the great but largely unknown Pratt Knot are included as is the Bow Tie.

Indispensible Guide to Classic Mens Clothing
Indispensible Guide to Classic Mens Clothing

Few "indispensable" guides are ever just that, but this title comes close to hitting the mark, even though much of the information provided can be found in similar guides, such as Paul Keers's A Gentleman's Wardrobe (1988). Karlen, an attorney and editor, and Sulavik, a journalist, use a question-and-answer format (e.g., "Should a dress shirt have a pocket?") that works well, and the candid remarks provided by dozens of clothing experts are an interesting feature. Helpful line drawings are interspersed throughout the text, although photographs might have provided clearer illustrations in some instances.


Are you wearing a tie? Do you prefer some special patterns?

Tie related or not, leave a comment!

Did you know that tie is originally from Croatia?

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am a Tie lover, you have fine ties,a great lens and thank you for that info., I did not know.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Of course I knew it, but then again I'm a Croatian girl:-) As for the comment before me, I'm afraid it's a wrong comparison, because cravat is all about decoration and elegance and not winter protection or anything like that.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      They are not.. The word, yes originates from that epoque. BUT the first scarf/tie was worn by the acient roman orators in winter so they would not ruin their vocal cords.. Also, the roman soldiers also wore fabric around their necks because their helmets would dig into their necks..

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Did not know that neckties originated in Croatia. Would have never guessed it, either!

    • CCGAL profile image


      9 years ago

      I had no idea! Good lens, here.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      OMG! This is remarkable -- so many Croatian ties -- quite remarkable actually. Hmmm, so should this lens be in the Everything Eastern European group? ;)

    • Laniann profile image


      9 years ago

      I did read about that fact just recently. But I was giving Louis XIV the credit. I'm glad you brought this to my attention - I have corrected my thinking.

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 

      10 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      Interesting, but I quit wearing ties of any sort years ago. If I looked in my closet most of the ties still there are red or blue, with a few florals thrown in. I've looked at cravats, and found they make more sense than a tie, but are still more formal than I have become. Thanks for the information.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      10 years ago

      I did NOT know the tie was from Croatia, nor that "cravat" derived from the name. I love learning new word derivations - thank you! 5*****

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago

      I like to see my sons dress up, including the tie, but I'm glad women don't have to wear them. I hate having anything tight around my neck.

      Great lens


    • religions7 profile image


      10 years ago

      Interesting lens. I had no idea neckties originated in Croatia.

    • MatCauthon profile image


      10 years ago

      I often wondered...what a tie really is for. Now I can go around wearing a tie with little more confidence. 5*

    • piedromolinero profile image


      10 years ago

      A very nice lens about ties and where it comes from. I didn't know this either. I am going to lensroll it with my lens 'The Art To Tie A Tie'. 5*

    • CrypticFragment1 profile image

      Tammy Winand 

      10 years ago from McleodGanj HP India

      beautiful! I will add you to the Squidoo Zazzle Gallery tomorrow


    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      10 years ago

      I love it and frankly, I like a man in a tie. (Don't tell any of them, though) 5* lens

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nicely done! I saw your thread in the forum and had to take a peek at your lens. I've been wondering how make my Zazzle products line up nicely, so I'm glad you asked about it.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow! What a great lens. I gave you 5 stars and a Squid Angel Blessing!

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 

      10 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      Great lens, I had no idea these originated in Croatia!


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