The first was the stock, a gathered band of fabric that tied or buckled at the back of the neck over the shirt collar. It could have an attached jabot that mimicked the cravat, or could be worn in combination with the cravat. The most common fabric was linen, followed by cotton and silk. It was usually white, but occasionally black.
The second was the cravat (about 1660-1830), a long piece of fabric or lace that was tied in many different ways. It could be wound around the neck, the collar, and tucked into the waistcoat in a variety of fashions. It reached it's peak around 1800 with the wide use of starch, and then gave way to neckties in the mid 1800's. Again, the most common color was white, but any color could be worn, and there was a language of the cravat, just as there is a language of flowers.
The third most common neckwear of the 1700's was the jabot, or ruffled stock. This was tied around the neck or shirt collar, and the collar was folded over it. It could be made from lace, linen or a combination of both. The most common color was white, but other colors were seen as well. This was often worn in combination with the stock.
To make a stock, gather 1/4 - 1/2 yd of 13" wide fabric into 2 tabs of fabric, about 3" wide. Attach those to ties or a band to go around the neck & collar.
Use linen or cotton for starters. Silk is good if you aren't going to be doing hot things (it's very warm).
To make a cravat, roll a narrow hem on a strip of fabric (linen or silk) 10 - 15" wide x 105" long (or longer) and tie till your heart's content. Military cuts were often much shorter: 42 - 72" long.
cut a 56" x 10" strip (on bias or straight), then fold in 1/2 (so it's 28" x 10") and cut a triangle from center to edges. Make neatly rolled edges & done!
To make a ruffled jabot, follow the directions below.
2 base pieces (these should be about 6" x 8", or there'bouts).
However many ruffle strips, 2 - 3x wider than your base pieces. I used 5 (originally 6, but one came up short, so I got rid of it).
Rip a 1 1/2" strip of fabric about 25" long for your binding & tie.
1. Make a small rolled hem on all the ruffle pieces to create a finished edge. If you can use the salvage for one side this will save you a lot of time.
Set ruffles aside.
1. With right sides together, sew side, bottom, side, leaving one end open to turn (this will be your top edge).
2. Clip corners, turn & press.
3. Mark 1/4" - 1/2" from top & bottom with chalk/fabric pen, then evenly divide the space in-between by the number of ruffles you have. (remember to count your top & bottom marks).
Sewing ruffles on.
1. Find the center of the base & first ruffle & mark.
2. Pin together in the center & at the sides on the bottom line.
5. Remove gathering threads.
1. Find the center of the band & the center of the jabot, mark and pin together as shown. Buttonhole (hand stitching) or overlock (machine) the raw edge, then straight or back stitch just below.
2. Turn the band over & create a finished edge on the fold with a blind hem stitch or top stitching. It will be folded like double-fold bias tape... in fact, if you are lazy you can use double fold bias tape for this.