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A neckerchief (often misspelled kneckerchief) is a piece of cloth, usually a scarf, worn on the neck primarily by sailors and Scouts in similar fashion to a necktie. In unfolded form, it consists of a piece of cloth in the shape of a right triangle, with the hypotenuse about three feet long. When a triangular neckerchief is to be worn, the hypotenuse side is rolled in the direction of the right angle until most of the neckerchief is consumed in the roll, leaving only a small triangle free.

The wearing of neckerchiefs

Neckerchiefs worn by sailors are shaped like a square, and are folded in half diagonally before rolling, with rolling occurring from the tip of the resulting triangle to its hypotenuse. Either neckerchief is then placed on the wearer's back, under or over the shirt collar with the ends at the front of the wearer. The rolled ends then pass around the neck until they meet in front of it, where they are secured together, either with a knot, such as a square knot, or with a rubber band or other fastener (called a woggle or neckerchief slide) and allowed to hang.

In the United States Navy; solid black neckerchiefs are currently part of the men's and women's service dress uniform for junior enlisted sailors.

Scouting Connection

One organization that makes the neckerchief part of its uniform is the Scouting movement. A generally ceremonial item in uniform, the neckerchief is taught to be a practical wilderness item in the Scouting tradition. The neckerchief, unrolled, is designed to be the perfect size for use as a trianglular bandage for first aid.

In most countries each Scout Troop uses its own colour neckerchief. The colours are usually the "Troop Colours" which may have a particular historical significance to the troop or to the local community.

In other countries individual patrols are identifiable by their neckerchiefs and so troops may have many different neckerchiefs all at once. In both of these cases the neckerchief and its colours are an issue of identity, and become emblematic of a troop or a patrol.

Gilwell Park neckerchief

Neckerchiefs can have important ceremonial functions in Scouting too. An example of this is the 1st Gilwell Scout Group neckerchief presented on completion of the Wood Badge.

See also
Fichu
Kerchief
Handkerchief

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The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neckerchief)  Definition Modified by Apparel Search  2/27/07

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