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Stripes have had a very long history in European textiles and for the greatest part of this history, have played a debatable role.
For centuries, striped clothing was reserved for society’s outcasts: heretics, clowns, prostitutes etc. In general, stripes were associated with the devil and therefore a symbol for the evil and impure.
Why stripes fell into disrepute is difficult to say. Historians have formed several theories that seem more or less believable from our modern point of view. The fact is that there are many sources from the 12th and 13th century that emphasize the degrading, negative or downright diabolical character of striped clothing.... (23 March 2011)