Our Apologies to Mr. Lindbergh
In the most recent issue ofHandwoven, we made a boo-boo. During the editing process, the description of Charles Lindbergh's flight was changed from "famous" to "infamous." Many thanks to alert reader Frances McClure, who first alerted us to our gaffe. For penance, thisBeWeave It is dedicated to the history of aviator scarves.
Aviator scarves, now a fashion statement, were once vital to pilots. The first airplanes had open cockpits, exposing flyers to extreme cold. Aviator scarves helped to keep the neck warm without restricting motion.The original scarves were woven of white silk on one side to protect pilots from chafing against their leather aviator jackets, and wool on the other side for warmth. Thesix-foot-long scarves could be tied snugly around the neck with enough material left hanging to wipe off dirty goggles. The shiny white of the silk may also have made the scarves useful as a signal flag in an emergency. When airplanes cockpits were enclosed and scarves were no longer needed, these iconic wraps moved from the cockpit to the department store, where they remain a popular accessory to this day.