The history of neckwear – Where did your tie come from?

You may have purchased your latest tie at a local retail outlet, men’s store, or from a website. You can even see the new trends of ties from famous fashion designers, such as Marc Jacobs. Regardless of how and where you purchased your tie, I bet you didn’t know it dates back to the Third Century B.C. That’s right, that piece of silk you knotted around your neck this morning is derived from centuries of neckwear use, evolving over time to what we use today. As you can see in the painting below, neckwear or knotted scarfs were used by Chinese terra-cotta warriors around 200 B.C.

In 1974, an army of 7,500 terra-cotta warriors were unearthed in China by local farmers. Each of the warriors had a knotted scarf around their neck, the first known use of neckwear. It was determined that this was the tomb of the first emperor of China, Ch’in Shi Huang-ti. Below is a photo of one of the terra-cotta warriors. It is thought that in early times, this form of neckwear was used primarily for protection from the sun and weather elements.

So next time you tie on your favorite tie, know that it’s not just another tie from China, but that it actually came from China’s rich history. For more information on the Terra-Cotta Warriors, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_Army.

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