It originated in the United Kingdom in the 18th century and remained popular there and in France through the 19th with many variations, as well as in the United States. The fichu was generally of linen fabric and was folded diagonally into a triangle and tied, pinned, or tucked into the bodice in front.
A fichu is sometimes used with a brooch to conceal the closure of a décolté neckline. The fichu can thus be fastened in the front, or crossed over the chest. The cross-over fichu sometimes extended all the way to the back. Some models include a large over-the-shoulders back piece.
The fichu found in several traditional cultures resembles a poncho that covers only the shoulders and chest.
- Elizabeth J. Lewandowski, The Complete Costume Dictionary (Scarecrow Press, 2011), 107, available online, accessed January 3, 2014
- Dorothy Denneen Volo and James M. Volo, Daily Life in Civil War America, 2nd edition (Greenwood, 2009), 298, available online, accessed January 3, 2014
- "fichu | Fashion History Timeline". fashionhistory.fitnyc.edu. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
- Baumgarten, Linda: What Clothes Reveal: The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America, Yale University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-300-09580-5
- Cunnington, C. Willett and Phillis Emily Cunnington: Handbook of English Costume in the Eighteenth Century. London: Faber, 1972.
- Payne, Blanche: History of Costume from the Ancient Egyptians to the Twentieth Century, Harper & Row, 1965. No ISBN for this edition; ASIN B0006BMNFS
- Ribeiro, Aileen: Dress in Eighteenth Century Europe 1715-1789, Yale University Prison, 2002, ISBN 0-300-09151-6
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