Clothing as Social and Cultural Symbol by Scarves for Men

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					                  Clothing as Social and Cultural Symbol by Scarves for Men

Scarves have been used to serve different functions by men and women. This piece of clothing is
also used a statement of cultural identity, apart from fashion and its utilitarian functions. In ancient
Rome, men used scarves to wipe sweat from their face and neck. Silk scarves popularised by
Emperor Cheng of China. In his army, silk scarves were given to the officers, while cotton scarves
were given to soldiers. A similar system was followed in Croatia in 17th century. China and India are
the leading manufacturers of men’s silk scarves today.

Mens scarves usually are long, which can be wrapped around the neck. Colours are solid or light
shades with horizontal stripes. Two-colours-shaded brocaded scarves are also in fashion and are
usually worn on special occasions such as weddings. Silk scarves can be hand washed in warm water
using a gentle cleaning agent.

Silk scarves are worn for warmth in winters, but they have become both fashion statement, because
they provide an elegant look to the overall dress. Men’s scarves make a subdued statement of
sophistication. Nowadays, in Europe, vintage scarves are in vogue as fashion statements. Styles used
in 1960s or earlier are being re-used in silk scarves for men to evoke a look of style.

In India, silk scarves are usually hand-woven and are manually dyed in vegetable dyes. The entire
process uses manual labour and eco-friendly techniques evolved over a history of thousands of years
of silk industry in India. Thus, Indian silk scarves are not only fashion statements, but also symbols
for eco-friendly fabric production. Similarly, in the Arab world, a square cloth with check design is
wrapped around the head as protection from the hot sun. However, during Palestine liberation
movement, this scarf became a symbol of this movement because the PLO leader Yasser Arafat
wore it. In Latin America, men wear a multi-colour scarf wrapped around the head as a turban. This
has become a cultural symbol for the men in this region and they wear it to mark their cultural
identity. In certain Christian traditions, a long scarf is worn by the men as liturgical exercise.

Thus, mens scarves has come a long way in its journey through history and cultural. It has served
the functions of necessity, fashion as well as cultural symbolism. Silk scarves are an example that a
small piece of clothing can act as a cultural agent in many diverse ways.

				
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posted:2/21/2012
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