The Tudor Ruff
The Tudor Ruff
The dynasty of the Tudors include Kings and Queens such as King
Henry VIII and his daughters who are immediately recognised for their
fabulous clothes including the fashion of the Tudor Ruffs. The fashion
of frilled collars became extremely elaborate developing into the famous ruff, which was worn by both men and women.
Description of the Tudor Ruff
Description and Definition of the Tudor ruffs: The Tudor ruff was a
circular collar in the form of a starched and crimped or pleated frill
which covered the neck
chin, breast and shoulders of women and covered the neck and shoulders
of men. Ruffs were pinned up to the ears or lay over the shoulder.
Materials used to
make the Tudor Ruff
used to make the most expensive ruff was the finest lace but different
kinds of linen were also used to create ruffs:
- Holland - Expensive,
very fine linen
- Lawne - Another type of
expensive, fine linen
- Camerick - Expensive,
very fine linen
The Tudor ruff which was
worn by rich people were decorated with lace, gold and silver thread and
fine silk. The ruffs belonging to rich women sparkled with decorations
of the sun, moon and the stars.
and design of the Tudor Ruff
The ruffs changed in style and design and was a highly elaborate fashion
accessory. The ruff first came into fashion in the 1560's when it measured about three inches wide and two inches deep.
There were different names for this fashion accessory including the cartwheel ruff and the fan-shaped ruff.
The style of ruff designed for men were generally higher in back than in
front and followed the line of the jaw, framing the face. This style is
illustrated in the picture of Sir Walter Raleigh:
Fashion of the Ruff
Ruff started as a high frilled collar. Tudor Fashion then dictated
a more feminine and seductive image for women which was achieved by
opening the ruffle in front of the dress to expose the neck and the top of the breasts.
The ruff became bigger and more exaggerated and was constructed on gauze wings which were raised at the back
of the head as shown in the above picture of Queen Elizabeth I. The Ruff framed the face and dictated the
hairstyles of the age which were generally short for men and a swept up look
was created for women. Tudor Ruffs were pinned into place and often attached to partlets
- a partlet was a high necked chemise designed to cover a low
necked dress. The pleat or flute of the ruff was called a Purl
and these were
sometimes edged with fine lace. A Ruff was sometimes added to the cuffs of sleeves
of clothes. Laces or
strings, called Band Strings, were attached to the opening of the Tudor ruff which
were tied together to secure the ruff or band around the neck.
Interesting Facts and Information about
Maintaining the pristine
appearance of the ruff was hard work. Starch was used to maintain the
ruff and the fashion required the use of supports and underprops to keep
the ruff in place especially when it became elaborate and higher.
Hundreds of pins were used to create the elaborate design of the ruff.
Pins were an essential part of Tudor fashion and were used in great
quantities on ruffs which lead to a lucrative pin making industry.
Each section of this Tudors website addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about Tudor Ruff. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and
facts provided about the fascinating subject of the Tudors!