"This collar is made of particularly fine batiste or cambric. As the name suggests, the material originally came from the Flemish town of Kamerijk or Cambrai. It was introduced to the Northern Netherlands by the Flemish refugees who arrived in the late sixteenth century. Haarlem weavers specialised in the fabric. Because of its shape, this kind of collar was known as a millstone ruff. These became fashionable in the second half of the sixteenth century under the influence of the Spanish rulers. Early millstone ruffs were starched with regular pleats. This example, however, is looser and less tidy. It is of a type that was popular with young, fashionable men around 1615 to 1635. This is the only surviving pleated ruff in the world.”
Edit because I have a cold, a deadline, and deleting the five messages in my inbox made me smile.
Also I can’t be bothered to write the same message five times so here goes!
Hopefully I don’t sound like I’m completely annoyed by the constant bombardment of messages in my ask box telling me my source is wrong. If you find a problem with the text feel free to take it up with Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Museum for Art and History.
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