hidden europe 17

Silk maps

by Nicky Gardner


During the Second World War, aircrew on British planes were issued with a silk scarf that had a map of the area for which they were bound. We look at how map scarves are making a comeback.

Croatia has give many wonderful things to the planet, and among them it seems is the humble neck scarf. Indeed the modern English word cravat is derived from the French cravatte (giving also German Kravatte), but that simple etymological fact obscures the much more interesting source of the French term, a corruption of the word hrvat meaning 'Croat'. Modern Croatia still calls itself Hrvatska.

Elizabethan England may have given us ruff collars, balloon sleeves and padded doublets, none of which have stood the test of time, but three cheers for Croatia for having had the foresight to twig that ties and neck scarves would stay the course as cherished fashion accessories.