How to make a tudor ruff

The Elizabethan neck ruff was in style between 1485 and 1603 during the Tudor period. This neck ruff was worn by both men and women as a style element. The traditional neck ruff was made from stiff cloth folded into pleats. The ruffs stuck out around the collar about the same distance as the width of the head. Make your own modern neck ruff from wired ribbons. Wired ribbon is less challenging to use and will hold its shape much longer than cloth ruffs.

Measure around the neck of the person who will wear the ruff. If the person will wear a collared shirt under the ruff, to prevent sweating, then measure around the collar. Add two inches to this measurement. Cut a piece of the 1-inch ribbon to this length.

Spread out the ribbon onto a table. Set the wired ribbon just below the thinner ribbon. You will use the ribbon as a guide to determine how long the length of the wired ribbon should be.

Fold over the edge of the wired ribbon about 1/2 inch. Sew the raw edge of the ribbon to make a hem.

Shape the wired ribbon into 1-inch wide accordion pleats. Don't worry about getting the pleats exactly even or rounded just yet. You will make adjustments later. Make enough pleats so that the pleated wired ribbon is the same length as the thinner ribbon.

Cut the end of the ribbon off from the spool. Sew a 1/2-inch hem along the cut edge.

Use a pencil to round out the pleats along the ribbon. Do this all at once, or do it while you are sewing the thin ribbon to the wired ribbon.

Flip the wired ribbon so that the edge of the ribbon is on the horizontal edge of the ribbon, rather than facing the ceiling.

Sew the edge of the thin ribbon to the wired edge of one side of the wired ribbon. Sew a 12-inch length of thin ribbon to each end of the ruff so that you can tie it around your neck.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1-inch wide ribbon
  • Wired ribbon, 2 to 3 inches wide
  • Pencil
  • Needle
  • Thread
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About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.