Sashes such as this were as much a military necessity as they were fashionable dress. First worn to distinguish opposing combatants on the battlefield, they became accessories for men during the middle years of the 17th century. This is a very richly decorated example. Similar lavishly decorated scarves can be seen in portraits from the 1630s to 1650s, worn with buff coats and breastplates.
Materials & Making
The sash is embroidered in satin, stem and long-and-short stitches, with couched work (embroidery in which the thread is held down on the material by stitching) in repeated vertical bands of closely arranged floral patterns. The lower edge has been cut into deep scallops and edged with metal lace.