History of the Scarf, and the Charity Scarf

History of the Scarf, and How to Give Back with a Charity Scarf

History is a fascinating subject. Many people view the subject as dry and boring, but this is the wrong perspective: History is the weaving together of millions of stories – countless lives being lived separately, weaved together into a tapestry of the past. Everything in this world has a history: Scarves are no different. In today’s blog post, we’re going to look at the history of the scarf, and how you can give back to the people who are keeping an ancient art alive by purchasing a charity scarf.

Ancient Scarves

One of the first mentions of a scarf found in history is with the Queen Nefertiti in 1350 B.C. According to history, she “banded her head with costly scarves and topped it with a tall colorful conical headdress” (source). It’s interesting to note that the first mentions of scarves were for fashion purposes: Wearing scarves has been a fashion statement for thousands of years! Ruler Cleopatra made scarves a fashion must. Roman and Egyptian women in her day used scarves as a status symbol – different colors represented social rank. Scarves have always been a fashion statement: Beethoven began wearing “silk neck scarves” and dressing up to woo a beautiful young woman (who was the inspiration for Für Elise).  Scarves continued to be a strong fashion piece with the passing of time. Queen Victoria routinely wore scarves, and because of this, set the tone for upper-class women in England in the late 1800’s. Since then, scarves have only grown in popularity. Today, they thankfully don’t represent social rank, but they are a sign of a great fashion sense!

Functional Scarves

While scarves have been a fashion statement for thousands of years, they have also been used for functionality as well. In Roman times, scarves were referred to as a by different names, such as “mappula, sudarium, mantile” etc. These long pieces of cloth were used to wipe away perspiration. Cambodian scarves have a long history, and are mainly used for functional purposes. The famous krama scarf has been used as a towel, bathrobe, pillow, hammock, baby carrier, makeshift skirt, and even a weapon by the Cambodian people.

Keep Tradition Alive: Buy a Charity Scarf and Give Back

The krama scarf has been a part of Cambodian culture for thousands of years. It has a rich, long history. Cambodian tradesmen and tradeswomen still use historical hand weaving techniques to make the krama scarf. When you buy a charity scarf from Give Krama, you are supporting this tradition and keeping it alive. Also, with each purchase of a charity scarf, we donate a portion of the proceeds to the Angkor Children’s Hospital. Not only are you supporting ancient hand weaving techniques, you are giving back to Cambodia itself.


Find your own charity scarf and give back!