HSF #2 — Innovation – Turtleneck

Finally, back to Father Zantus’s anachronistic turtleneck.

Previously, I talked about knitting and raglan sleeves. Today’s innovation is the turtleneck itself.  Ye Olde Wikipedia says at least as early as the 15th century.  Since their only credited source for this “fact” is http://www.chacha.com/question/who-invented-the-turtleneck, I’m going to remain skeptical.

Shirts with high, tight necks have existed for thousands of years.  Carl Köhler’s A History of Costume , describes and illustrates a high-necked Etruscan (so sometime between 750 and 250 BCE) woman’s robe (p 111 – 112).  He describes a slit in the back of the garment’s neck, which was laced up.  Without the slit, the wearer couldn’t get her head through the neck hole, unless the fabric stretched.  Like a knit.

Also like knits, turtlenecks didn’t gain popularity as outwear until the earth 20th century, but was worn as underwear or sports wear in the late 19th century.

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