Is your neck looking a bit scruffy these days? I found some vintage collars at the Love Vintage Fair in Sydney that could fix this. The collars were hiding in a huge pile of doilies and napkins at a stall.It was very exciting pulling them out of the lucky dip of doilies.There were no garments attached to these collars, just the collars on their own. Collars were made like this so that they could be laundered and finished separately and attached to garments when necessary.
They are all delicate. The fabric and yarn is yellowed with age, there are pulls, runs and little holes, all the more charming to me because of this. They have been worn. When and by whom is impossible to know now, but not to imagine. Lost arts, drawn thread work, embroidery, lace-making, lace insertion were skills used to make them. Quiet skills that don’t require machines, just an idea and old, old techniques.
Replacing a collar was a way to extend the life of a garment and create a new look for a dress, a shirt or a jacket. It could transform by hiding worn edges, stains, add interest to, and represent a new mode. It was also a way to wear your skills, so that they could be appreciated outside of the home (not just relegated to doilies). These collars would have framed the faces of the women and girls that wore them, drawing attention to their faces.