Ruffs & Falling Collars

The Tudor Tailor

See also Constructing Elizabethan Ruffs, and also How to Starch a Ruff.

To view the evolution of the ruff, visit, especially the Various Portraits for 1557-1568, 1568-1575, 1575-1585, 1595-1605, 1594-1605, and 1605-1621, as well as the portraits of Elizabeth, James, and Leicester & Essex.

  • Caricature of the fashion for ruffs, second half of the 16th century
  • A case made to contain a ruff, 16th century
  • Descriptions of ruffs in the New Year's gifts to Queen Elizabeth

    • By the Countes of Essex, ruffs of lawnde white worke, edged with sede perle, and a yelo here, and another like black.
    • By the Lady Cromwell, Lorde Cromwell's wif, 3 sutes of ruffes of white cute worke, edged with a passamayne of white.
    • By Mrs. Fraunces Howarde, two sute of ruffes of stitched clothe florisshed at the sides, thone withe golde, thother with siluer with spangles.
    • By Mrs. Bissels, a partelet and ruffs of lawne wrought with white worke, with a blake sipers upon yt, gar' wythe bewgles.
    • By Mrs. Twiste, … a sute of ruffes of lawne, wroughte with Spanisshe worke.
    • By the Barronesse Dudley, two ruffes with rabatines of lawne cut-work made, and one ruff of lawne cutt-work unmade.
    • By the Lady Townsende, a large ruffe of lawne cuttwork unmade.
    • By Mrs. Elizabeth Throgmorton, two ruffes of lawne cutwork made.
    • By the Countes of Worcester, one ruffe of lawne cutworke, set with 20 small knottes of gold like mullets, gar' with small sparkes of rubyes and perle.
    • By Mrs. Elizabeth Grene, one ruffe of lawne cutworke, florished with a wreath of Venice silver knotted.
    • By Mrs. Wingfeilde, mother of the maydes, 4 ruffes of lawne and a fanne.
    • By Mrs. Verney Alley, one sute of ruffes of fyne lawne cutworke.
    • By Mrs. Frauncys Kirkham, one ruffe of lawne cutworke, and a paire of ruffes.
    • By Mrs. Huggyns, Mr. William his wyef, one ruffe of lawne cutworke.
  • The Pride of Women: Ruffs, by Maarten de Vos, ca. 1600
  • A collar, suportasse, and ruff, 17th century
  • V&A T.32-1938, a supportasse made of cardboard, linen, and silk, c. 1600-1625
  • V&A T.62-1910, a supportasse made of linen, silk, whalebone, card, and wire, and sewn with linen thread, c. 1600-1625
  • Rijksmuseum BK-NM-13112, a loosely-pleated linen batiste millstone ruff, c. 1615-1635
  • Royal Armoury Stockholm LRK 33076, 1620s
  • V&A T.287-1916, a finely-pleated linen ruff, c. 1620-1629
  • V&A 190-1900, a linen falling collar with cutwork panels, c. 1620-1630
  • Rijksmuseum BK-1978-462, a falling collar with reticella & punto in aria needlelace, c. 1625-1640
  • V&A T.372-1912, bobbin lace shaped for a collar, 1630s
  • Royal Armory Stockholm 31139 (3370), a linen collar of Gustav II Adolf, 1632
  • Royal Armory Stockholm 20769 (32:73:a), a lace collar of Gustav II Adolf, 1632