Re: The Origin of The Cravat (Was: Are Ties Phallocarps?)

Barry S. Marjanovich (
Sat, 18 Nov 1995 10:49:28 -0700

On 17 Nov 1995, Lennart Regebro wrote:

> Is there anyone that has a better grip on the history of the tie than I have?
> It's developed out of other types of 'neck-dressing' but I don't know exactly
> how.
> I don't think the tie is phallic in origin, but it obviously gives those kind
> of accociations with some people... :)


During my visit to Croatia about six months ago I came upon a small shop
in the old part of the city of Zagreb which was selling all kinds of
neckties. They had a great selection of ties with Croatian designs called
"Kravata Croata". I bought one of these exquisitely made ties in a box
which had a fascinating story enscribed on it about the origin of the tie.

I'd like to share it with you.

Names for the necktie in the world:

Croatian : Kravata
English: Cravat
French: Cravate
German: Krawatte
Hungarian: Kravat
Italian: Cravatta
Polish: Krawat
Portugese: Gravata
Spanish: Corbata
Arabic: Cravat

Old and wise history books bear witness to the fact that a small European
people has conquered more of the world than Batu-Khan and the Ancient
Romans. Without hatred and arms, as early as the mid-17th century, this
people started its silent conquest from its native soil between the
Pannonian valley and the Adriatic Sea, and reached numerous spots of the
known world. The traces of this conquest can still be seen everywhere.
People all over the world are wearing the symbol of my people. They wear
it near the heart, between the shirt and the coat. Moreover, it embraces
them around the neck like a dear friend.

Did you know that the necktie originates from the Croats?

When the thirty-year war (1618-1648) was raging in Europe, Croatian
soldiers were also drawn into this tragedy. Under the leadership of their
Vice-Roys (Croatian Ban) they arrived as far as Paris.

The Croatian traditional military dress included picturesque scarves worn
around the neck in a distinctive manner. This handsome "Croatian Style"
captivated the fastidious French so that, during the reign of Louis XIV,
they too , adopted the new fashion item worn "a la Croate". This
expression soon became the root of the new French word "cravate". Thus
the tie entered the bourgeois fashion of the time as a sign of
cultivation and elegance and went on to conquer the whole Europe and,
today, the entire civilized world.

By the way, the address of the little tie-shop in Zagreb is as follows:

Kravata Croata
Potomac d.o.o.
10000 Zagreb, Kaptol 13, Croatia

Tel 385 1/27 28 55
/27 29 60
/27 12 17

Fax 385 1/27 12 17