Sunday, November 26, 2017

Name This Headgear!

I stumbled upon this ancient piece of headgear and have not been able to identify or date it.

I blame the internet for this purchase.  Reading vintage sewing machine blogs led me to reading vintage sewing blogs.  Which led me to vintage fashion blogs.  Which led me to blogs written by women who recreate historic costumes and then get together for wonderful teas, dinners, and balls in fabulous historic settings.

So all in all I have seen tons of pictures of antique and vintage garments.  And this is clearly something interesting.   I just don't know what.

I have two big Dover books cataloging 19th century women's garments and I don't see anything quite like it in there.

It is hand sewn and the neck drape (dont know what to call it) is knit from wool, as is the trim on the hat (hat?  bonnet?).

 Becky pointed out that the knitted neck drape looks like hair.

It is lined in a blackish wool felt.  This would have been a snuggly and warm head covering, with a long neck protector.

So I am looking for a name for the thing (which will help my internet searching) and an approximate date for this style.

And thanks to the gorgeous BF Becky for modeling!

She insisted on some "serious face" pictures because people did not smile in pictures back in the day.

Let me know in the comments if you can name or date this headgear!


  1. Very interesting find! I don't have any specific knowledge, but I would guess it's for a woman in mourning. Maybe 1850s - 1860s? I checked one of my reference books - briefly - and thought you might be interested in adding this one to your library: Dressed for the Photographer - Ordinary Americans & Fashion, 1840 - 1900, Joan Severa, Kent State University Press, 1995.

  2. Googling 19th century quilted hood brought up several images similar to this. Also Civil War winter bonnet.


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