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For many months Barker Collars has been extremely busy assisting the production team and costume department for the Netflix sensational production of The Crown.   It’s a costume drama about Queen Elizabeth II Reign and is currently available to watch on Netflix.  Barker Collars has supplied Collars and continuously laundered & starched them for cast members.

The TV series is about the first decade of 25-year-old Elizabeth II’s reign, the early years of her marriage to Prince Phillip and her relationship with Winston Churchill.

There’s something fascinating about female monarchs – just look at the success of ITV’s Victoria. So watch out for The Crown, a grand sweep of Queen Elizabeth II ‘s reign is available to watch on Netflix.


The Crown by Netflix


The opening scene of The Crown will shock some viewers: it begins with King George VI (Jared Harris) coughing up blood into a lavatory bowl. The sight of a king so ill and so vulnerable in his sumptuous surroundings immediately sets a foreboding tone.


Clearly no expense has been spared on this series, which is anticipated to be extremely well received by the viewing public. The Team at Barker Collars will most definitly be tuning in!


Watch Trailer

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The Court attire worn by Judges is extremely distinctive. A High Court judge wears a full hood with a cowl covering the shoulders and a mantle or cloak. It was the established dress from the period of Edward III (1327-77) and was the correct dress for attending the royal court at the time. And the material for the robes was ermine and taffeta or silk and was originally given to judges as a grant from the Crown. Violet was the colour for winter and green for summer and scarlet red was kept for best


After1635, a Judge would have worn a black robe faced with light fur was worn in winter, and violet or scarlet robes, faced with shot-pink taffeta, in summer. And a black girdle, or cincture, was worn with all robes.





By the mid-eighteenth century, the rules of 1635 were not being adhered to and a much less formal version of the robes was used for criminal trials. A scarlet red robe, black scarf and a scarlet cashing hood known as a tippet or stole was worn. A black silk gown was worn for civil trials.


At the time of the home of the courts of law at Westminster Hall the mantle was not being worn. It was now saved for special occasions and ceremonies. The grey taffeta was becoming increasingly more popular as an alternative to the pink used during summer. And plain linen bands began to be worn at the neck, in place of the ruffs associated with Queen Elizabeth I. They were originally wide collars, but by the 1680s had become what we see today: two rectangles of linen, tied at the center of the neck.




Bands are still worn with a winged collar, rather than the turndown collar seen on a typical shirt today. Court structure has had an effect on what is worn by judges. The Judicature Acts of 1873-5, absorbing the courts of Chancery, Admiralty, Probate and Matrimonial Causes, created the High Court that led to a new dress dilemma. Trial judges in these courts were used to wearing plain black silk gowns. And today judges in the Chancery, Probate, Admiralty, Divorce and Family Divisions wear black silk gowns.


When county courts were created in 1846 the black gown was worn but in 1915 Judge Woodfall suggested that a new robe – similar to those worn by High Court judges and a violet robe was introduced to distinguish it from the violet High Court robe. A lilac tippet and black girdle also formed part of the attire, which due to wartime conditions did not become compulsory until 1919.


A full violet hood for ceremonial occasions was added in 1937, and the creation of the Crown Court in 1971 led to the introduction of a scarlet tippet, to be worn during criminal trials. However, this was not compulsory as judges could choose to wear a black gown instead. Judges at the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey) still wear their black gowns.


The Court of Appeal was created at the same time as the High Court, again combining several existing courts. The Master of the Rolls (head of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal) and two other members of the Court of Appeal in Chancery were among the new members of this court – which probably explains why a black silk gown was chosen.


The Court of Criminal Appeal, founded in 1908, originally wore the full black, scarlet or violet robes and regalia, but in 1966 the court was abolished and re-formed as the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). At this point, judges of this court adopted the black silk gown, with the Queen’s Bench Division following suit soon afterwards.

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The clerical collar is an item adorned as part of Christian clerical clothing. It is detachable and buttons onto a clergy shirt. It fastened by a few metal studs, attached at the front and back to hold it to the shirt. The collar closes at the back of the neck, presenting a seamless front.


The Collar is white and made of cotton or linen, as it is more comfortable to wear than those available in plastic and prevents chaffing. The clerical shirt is usually black or a color appropriate to a person’s ministry ranking. It is believed that The Reverend Donald Mcleod invented the detachable clerical collar as reported in 1909 Who’s Who of Glasgow where he was a minister at the time.


Anglican clergy had developed a sense of separation between themselves and the secular world in 1840. One outward symbol of this was the adoption of distinctive clerical dress. It started with the black coat and white necktie, which had been worn for some decades. By the 1880s this had been transmuted into the clerical collar, which was worn almost constantly by the majority of clergy for the rest of the period.




The clerical collar was adopted by other Christian denominations, including Anglican Church, Methodist churches, Eastern Orthodox Church, Baptist churches, Lutheran churches, and the Roman Catholic Church Prior to the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to1965. The practice of Roman Catholic clergy wearing the clerical collar as street-dress, tended to be found only in those countries where Catholicism was the minority religion. In the 1960s, many clergy who lived in countries where Catholicism was the dominant religion began to wear the clerical collar rather than the cassock.


In the Reformed tradition, which stresses preaching as a central concern, pastors often don preaching tabs, which project from their clerical collar. Anglican clergy also wore preaching bands or tabs.


In the Roman Catholic Church, the clerical collar is worn by all ranks of clergy; bishops, priests, deacons, and often by seminarians who have been admitted to candidacy for the priesthood as well as with their cassock during liturgical celebrations.


Barker Sells Clerical Collars on a wholesale basis and they are available to purchase from J Wippell & Co Ltd

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In the same year that New York State abolished slavery. 1827 is the year that it is believed a lady called Hannah Montague invented the detachable collar. It is documented that she used to cut the collars off her husband’s shirts to wash them before sewing them back on. A local businessman from her town in Troy, New York was delighted with her innovative idea and decided to take the idea to market, starting with local residents. Rather than sewing the collars back into place a new technique where the collar is attached to the shirt by a pair of studs. This new easy on and off, attach and detach technique would mean the Gentlemen’s collars always looked white, fresh, clean and cardboard like.


It soon became fashionable for Gentlemen to look the part with really stiff collars that would look smart and stand daily wear. This is when rigidity became important and starching became popular. Other areas of the shirts soon became detachable and starched too, such as the front and cuffs. The businessman was The Reverend Ebenezar Brown and the manufacturer of detachable shirt elements soon became a significantly well-known industry for the town of Troy.





Such stiff cardboard like collars were not really very comfortable to wear on daily bases and therefore the practice of starching collars declined. Yet it was still significantly important when it comes to formal wear. Worn often by Military and at formal events along with a white or black bow tie. The Imperial collar (a high collar with no wings) was last worn during Edwardian times.


Today barristers throughout the United Kingdom often wear detachable collars for convenience. They opt to wear a winged collar when in court along with their white bands. Yet easily swapping it for a turn down collar and tie on their way to and from the courthouse.


Detachable collars are also part of the uniform and are worn by students at Eaton Collage. Most popular are the turndown collars, however students in positions of authority wear stick-up collars or a wing collar.


Clerical collars are also known as a Roman Collars and are customary dress for ordained ministers.

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Marcella Waistcoat



The Marcella waistcoat is a wardrobe staple when attending a formal white tie event and we believe they look stunning. Quite simply, Marcella is of Latin origin and the Italian name or another term used for Pique. Marcella waistcoats are white and come in a variety of forms, with U or V shapes available. Plus there is large choice of outlines for the tips, ranging from pointed to flat or rounded to suit your shape and style.




Did you already know any of these waistcoat facts?


  • The waistcoat is quite a Royal inspired garment. King Charles II introduced the waistcoat in 1666 when it was known and referred to as a vest.
  • During the 17th Century the Gentlemen’s waistcoats were extremely elaborate and worn with Frock Coats.
  • By the 18th Century a man was never seen without his waistcoat and they would be quite long, thigh length.
  • Until 1810 when they became shorter and tighter.
  • Later in the century the waistcoat was valued as a figure enhancer. Trendsetter Prince Albert had quite the reputation for donning his waistcoat and showing off his tiny waist.
  • Before wristwatches were invented, gentlemen would keep their pocket watches in their waistcoat pocket, attached to a chain.
  • It’s traditional to keep the bottom button undone. It is believed this stems back to riding horses and would be more comfortable and stop the waistcoat riding up when riding. However this is not the case for evening/formal wear.
  • Quite simply, Marcella is of Latin origin and the Italian name or another term used for Pique.

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Here is the stages we go through when starching your collars:








  1. First it must be rinsed in boiling water to remove any starch.
  1. Then laundered as normal.
  1. Then soaked in a concentrated warm starch solution.






  1. It is then left until nearly dry.




  1. Ironed until hard.
  1. The shape is added by curling it using a collar press.

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Sarah Farmar visited The Barker Group, the only company that makes, cleans and cares for starched detachable collars. She learns about the products and processes behind achieving the perfect collar. These collars are seen on Downton Abbey and Titanic among many other films and TV productions. Watch the video here to learn how complex it is for your self.