How to Make an Elizabethan Neck Piece

Updated April 17, 2017

Between 1560 and 1600, Europeans wore neck pieces known as ruffs. This ruffled collar could be modest, narrow and made of plain white cloth, or elaborately wide and lacy as depicted in the portraits of Elizabeth I. If you are preparing for a fancy-dress party or costuming a Shakespearean play, you can create an Elizabethan neck piece for under ten dollars in about five minutes.

Place the doily on a flat surface, running horizontally. Fold the doily in half lengthwise, pressing it firmly along the crease line. Unfold the doily, repositioning it horizontally with the crease facing upward.

Weave the stretch cord in and out of the lace, every two inches or so, along the centre crease. Allow the doily gather on the stretch cord as you go.

Pull the two ends of the stretch cord together and tie a double knot, to form a circle. Adjust the doily around the circle so that the gathers are even. Stretch the cord to pull the neck piece over your head. Adjust the ruffles around your neck, with the joined section in back.

Things You'll Need

  • Lace table doily, 30-inches long by 10-inches wide
  • Stretch cord, 13-inches long
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About the Author

Nicole Byerly has been writing since 2003. She has published multiple works that have appeared in "Campus Philly." Byerly is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity at Utica College.