Nov 1 2018

Celebrating 100 Years of Football Scarves

West Ham Shirt Scarf

As much a part of football as terrible reffing decisions and last-minute winners, the football scarf has a lengthy history that has helped to secure its enduring popularity among superfans.

Along with hot cups of Bovril and halftime pies, the football scarf has its beginnings at the stadium. A simple way of keeping warm whilst showing their support, fans have been wrapping up in their team’s colours since the early 1900s.

Indeed, in 1934 there was a noticeable rise in football fans donning ‘bar scarves’ when heading to the ground on match day. Combining two club colours in horizontal ‘bars’, it was possible for fans to show which side they were getting behind.

Not only a means of keeping warm, these scarves were perfect for swinging around in celebration, making them an essential accessory for die-hard fans.

Initially, these scarves were homemade. Typically knitted by grandmothers, they were given as Christmas gifts and were commonly seen around the playground as well as the stadium.

It didn’t take long for businesses to see the value in producing a large quantity to satisfy the growing demand. Interestingly, it was the same technology that knitted onion sacks that was used to produce the first bar scarves that were sold directly to football fans.

Once the scarf was in production with bigger businesses there was suddenly a whole host of options to choose from.

Along with the traditional bar scarves, there came the emergence of scarves bearing the club’s crest, as well as special edition ones that marked a significant game like a cup final or play-off.

It’s important to remember that it wasn’t until the 1970s that replica shirts would be introduced as a fan product, so scarves were for a long time the primary way to express yourself as a fan.

At USP we have provided a fresh twist on this fan favourite by combining it with another favourite item – the replica team shirt. Officially licensed and patented, our shirt scarf allows fans to remain warm whilst proudly showing their colours.

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