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French Hood Frustrations...

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  • sarah_de_lorraine
    Hello, I m new to the group and I m hoping someone here can help me out of this quandry I ve dug myself into. I ve been studying Tudor portraiture for years
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 3, 2002
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      Hello, I'm new to the group and I'm hoping someone here can
      help me out of this quandry I've dug myself into.

      I've been studying Tudor portraiture for years now, trying to figure
      out how the French Hood was most likely constructed. The more
      I think about it, the more it feels as though I'm grasping at
      straws... I've done the regular method of making the French
      Hood for long enough to know that about 99.9% of it's
      construction is based upon pure conjecture (the "regular" way for
      me consists of the seperate curved coronet piece being worn
      over a coif with an attached hood in it's simplest form).

      Now, for some reason I decided to have a browse through
      Herbert Norris' _Tudor Fashion_ and his ideas of how the hood
      was constructed have left me a bit confused. I understand his
      reasoning for the early versions of the hood (one piece
      construction with a portiion of the hood flipped back at the front to
      form the "coronet"), but right about 1543, he switches gears and
      begins to suggest that the construction of the hood became
      seperated into three pieces (re: the "regular" way as described
      above). Of course, Norris has to confuse the issue by making
      references to his redrawings which seem to look virtually
      identical to the earlier hood drawings he was insisting were
      constructed as a single unit! Understandably, you have to be
      familiar with French Hoods and Norris to understand my
      frustration on this matter...

      But what I'd like to know is if someone out there can give me one
      really good reason why I should believe what I was taught and
      stick with the three piece construction of the hood (that would be:
      coif, coronet, hood with the billiments added)? I'm trying
      desperately to figure out a plausable construction for the hood in
      this portrait:
      http://homepage.mac.com/lithiate/images/1543/unknownfull.jpg
      and I'd appreciate *any* help/suggestions/encouragement that
      anyone has to offer. :)

      Sarah Lorraine
      the totally desperate
    • Matthew Mitchell
      I was wondering if anyone had a site that I could look at Russain hats for men. Thank you tsara
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 3, 2002
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        I was wondering if anyone had a site that I could look at Russain hats for
        men.
        Thank you
        tsara
      • Katherine Barich
        While I am sure that there are true experts on the subject out there, I have wondered and mused about the same subject repeatedly, i.e., were there actually
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 4, 2002
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          While I am sure that there are true experts on the subject out
          there, I have wondered and mused about the same subject repeatedly,
          i.e., were there actually French hoods with the coronet pieces
          attached? Can anyone post any link/files with portraits that
          clearly have the coronet piece?

          Most of the French hoods just look like caps to me, with the
          billiments added. The cap you show on the link looks *to me* as if
          it sticks out further on the back of her head, giving sort of an
          optical illusion of a coronet piece if you look at it a certain
          way. It seems to sit on her head like an extremely truncated
          hennin-like angle.

          On another note, the Mill End store in Portland is carrying the
          gold pre-pleated trim, similar to that trim shown on the cap on
          your link - it's manufactured by Wrights. I wrote the number down,
          but lost the piece of paper. So, I must make another trip to the
          fabric store - oh woe!

          Mistress Katheryne of Hindscroft of An Tir has made a wonderful
          hood in a similar fashion, and the gold pleating in the front is
          *perfect*. I am going to write her and ask her how she did it and
          ask if I can cross post.

          Katherine

          Katrine de Saint Brieuc


          ---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
          From: "sarah_de_lorraine" <rynegade@...>
          Reply-To: SCA-Milliners@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2002 02:13:10 -0000

          ><html><body>
          >
          >
          ><tt>
          >Hello, I'm new to the group and I'm hoping someone here can <BR>
          >help me out of this quandry I've dug myself into.  <BR>
          ><BR>
          >I've been studying Tudor portraiture for years now, trying to
          figure <BR>
          >out how the French Hood was most likely constructed.  The more
          <BR>
          >I think about it, the more it feels as though I'm grasping at <BR>
          >straws... I've done the regular method of making the French <BR>
          >Hood for long enough to know that about 99.9% of it's <BR>
          >construction is based upon pure conjecture (the "regular" way for
          <BR>
          >me consists of the seperate curved coronet piece being worn <BR>
          >over a coif with an attached hood in it's simplest form).  <BR>
          ><BR>
          >Now, for some reason I decided to have a browse through <BR>
          >Herbert Norris' _Tudor Fashion_ and his ideas of how the hood <BR>
          >was constructed have left me a bit confused.  I understand his
          <BR>
          >reasoning for the early versions of the hood (one piece <BR>
          >construction with a portiion of the hood flipped back at the front
          to <BR>
          >form the "coronet"), but right about 1543, he switches gears and
          <BR>
          >begins to suggest that the construction of the hood became <BR>
          >seperated into three pieces (re:  the "regular" way as described
          <BR>
          >above).  Of course, Norris has to confuse the issue by making <BR>
          >references to his redrawings which seem to look virtually <BR>
          >identical to the earlier hood drawings he was insisting were <BR>
          >constructed as a single unit!  Understandably, you have to be <BR>
          >familiar with French Hoods and Norris to understand my <BR>
          >frustration on this matter...<BR>
          ><BR>
          >But what I'd like to know is if someone out there can give me one
          <BR>
          >really good reason why I should believe what I was taught and <BR>
          >stick with the three piece construction of the hood (that would
          be: <BR>
          >coif, coronet, hood with the billiments added)?  I'm trying <BR>
          >desperately to figure out a plausable construction for the hood in
          <BR>
          >this portrait: <BR>
          ><a
          href="http://homepage.mac.com/lithiate/images/1543/unknownfull.jpg"
          >http://homepage.mac.com/lithiate/images/1543/unknownfull.jpg</a>
          <BR>
          >and I'd appreciate *any* help/suggestions/encouragement that <BR>
          >anyone has to offer.  :)<BR>
          ><BR>
          >Sarah Lorraine<BR>
          >the totally desperate<BR>
          ><BR>
          ></tt>
          >
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        • Cynthia Virtue
          1: don t trust Norris on any details. 2: Find someone who has a copy of Queen Elizabeth s Wardrobe Unlocked. It does have some hat information, and lots of
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 5, 2002
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            1: don't trust Norris on any details.
            2: Find someone who has a copy of Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlocked.
            It does have some hat information, and lots of pictures.

            cv
            typing fast, the babes are crying....


            --
            Cynthia Virtue and/or
            Cynthia du Pré Argent

            It takes a village -- to raise a new mother.
          • sarah_de_lorraine
            ... Holy Cow! That s a really good idea, actually! I know I was casually tossing around the theory of the hood being decended from the lapets of the
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 5, 2002
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              --- In SCA-Milliners@y..., "Katherine Barich" <wheezul@c...> wrote:
              >
              > Most of the French hoods just look like caps to me, with the
              > billiments added. The cap you show on the link looks *to me* as if
              > it sticks out further on the back of her head, giving sort of an
              > optical illusion of a coronet piece if you look at it a certain
              > way. It seems to sit on her head like an extremely truncated
              > hennin-like angle.

              Holy Cow! That's a really good idea, actually! I know I was
              casually tossing around the theory of the hood being decended from
              the lapets of the truncated henin, but that actually makes a lot of
              sense if there is a more truncated version of the truncated hennin
              (hopefully you're following me here) beneath the hood that acts as a
              support!

              Katherine, you've just opened the door to a whole new way of
              thinking... :)

              > On another note, the Mill End store in Portland is carrying the
              > gold pre-pleated trim, similar to that trim shown on the cap on
              > your link - it's manufactured by Wrights. I wrote the number down,
              > but lost the piece of paper. So, I must make another trip to the
              > fabric store - oh woe!

              Cool! I've never seen that pleated trim in anything other than white
              rayon. Being in California, it might be kind of long roadtrip to get
              there, but I'll call them and see if they can ship me some. I wonder
              if they have a website...?

              Anyhoo, you've helped me more than you probably realize. I'd love to
              hear what Mistress Katherine thinks... Thanks! :D

              Sarah Lorraine
            • sarah_de_lorraine
              ... Well, when you ve been hitting a brick wall on the topic, sometimes it s good to get a different perspective. Makes you rethink things. ;) I take Norris
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 5, 2002
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                --- In SCA-Milliners@y..., Cynthia Virtue <cvirtue@t...> wrote:
                > 1: don't trust Norris on any details.

                Well, when you've been hitting a brick wall on the topic,
                sometimes it's good to get a different perspective. Makes you
                rethink things. ;) I take Norris with a ton of salt, but this just
                struck me as somehow plausable...

                > 2: Find someone who has a copy of Queen Elizabeth's
                Wardrobe Unlocked.
                > It does have some hat information, and lots of pictures.

                I own the book, and have combed it cover to cover several times
                looking for more clues as to how the french hood was
                constructed, but Janet Arnold is rather mute on the topic. And the
                pictures are largely unhelpful as they're the same ones I've been
                staring at now for the last year or so...

                So at this point, I'm open to anything, no matter how crazy. :)

                > typing fast, the babes are crying....

                Congradulations, new mom! :)

                Sarah Lorraine
              • Cynthia Virtue
                ... Oh, sorry, to be more precise, I meant blind trust. If you ve looked at a bunch of sources and he has another take that makes sense to you with your
                Message 7 of 11 , Mar 6, 2002
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                  >>1: don't trust Norris on any details.



                  >I take Norris with a ton of salt, but this just
                  > struck me as somehow plausable...


                  Oh, sorry, to be more precise, I meant "blind trust." If you've looked
                  at a bunch of sources and he has another take that makes sense to you
                  with your additional knowledge, work with it.



                  cv
                • cyneswith
                  Hi- I don t know if these will help, because I haven t actually tried it out myself yet, but here s some sites that at least look helpful.
                  Message 8 of 11 , Mar 15, 2002
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                    Hi-

                    I don't know if these will help, because I haven't actually tried it
                    out myself yet, but here's some sites that at least "look" helpful.

                    http://www.ninyamikhaila.com/frenchhood.html

                    http://www.dnaco.net/~aleed/corsets/headwear/frenchhood.html

                    Let us know how your project works out...

                    Cyneswith

                    --- In SCA-Milliners@y..., "sarah_de_lorraine" <rynegade@a...> wrote:
                    > Hello, I'm new to the group and I'm hoping someone here can
                    > help me out of this quandry I've dug myself into.
                    >
                    > I've been studying Tudor portraiture for years now, trying to
                    figure
                    > out how the French Hood was most likely constructed.
                  • danabren@juno.com
                    A question that I ve been pondering regarding the french hood is this - if the earlier period styles, circa Henry VIII, had a strap that went beneath the chin
                    Message 9 of 11 , Mar 16, 2002
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                      A question that I've been pondering regarding the french hood is this -
                      if the earlier period styles, circa Henry VIII, had a strap that went
                      beneath the chin to hold it on (which can usually be found by peering
                      closely at the lower edge of the hood and the beginning of the jawline,
                      and is always white), what held on the later styles, which sit further
                      back on the head and thereby preclude the convenience of a chinstrap?

                      Does the hair shift position, rising up the back of the head, thereby
                      forming a little rolled shelf for the later-period styles to be pinned to
                      or lean against? There has to be some form of anchorage besides a lone
                      comb keeping the weight of a middle-period french hood and veil on. The
                      late-period styles, preferred by Elizabeth I can easily be sat at the
                      back of the head without fear of the veil pulling it off, as the veils
                      tended to be light airy silken things, so I think that the shape of the
                      billiment keeps it on.

                      There are clear examples of this on the URL provided by Cyneswith

                      > http://www.dnaco.net/~aleed/corsets/headwear/frenchhood.html

                      And I personally feel that the gold pleated ribbon is the edging or body
                      itself of an under-layer cap, at least in the early years of the style,
                      and that these earlier period hoods are built up with multi-layed caps of
                      varying sizes and shapes. If the hygene was as appalling as we know it to
                      be, what self-respecting noblewoman would want her exquisite (and
                      expensive!) cap destroyed by contact with dirty hair, when a coif has
                      been available for centuries?

                      If a plain white linen coif has a chinstrap to bear the weight of the
                      approaching gold and jewels, and the succeeding layers are pinned on.....

                      Danabren

                      ________________________________________________________________
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                    • sarah_de_lorraine
                      ... is this - ... peering ... jawline, ... further ... chinstrap? I had an interesting theory suggested to me by one of the UK costumers that frequents
                      Message 10 of 11 , Mar 22, 2002
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                        --- In SCA-Milliners@y..., danabren@j... wrote:
                        >
                        > A question that I've been pondering regarding the french hood
                        is this -
                        > if the earlier period styles, circa Henry VIII, had a strap that went
                        > beneath the chin to hold it on (which can usually be found by
                        peering
                        > closely at the lower edge of the hood and the beginning of the
                        jawline,
                        > and is always white), what held on the later styles, which sit
                        further
                        > back on the head and thereby preclude the convenience of a
                        chinstrap?

                        I had an interesting theory suggested to me by one of the UK
                        costumers that frequents H-Costume a few weeks back. She
                        suggested that anyone with at least shoulder length hair can
                        plait it into two braids, criss cross them at the top of the head
                        and secure them there with bobby pins. Then, the coif is put on,
                        followed by the paste (what we think of as the "coronet" piece),
                        which according to her wasn't a stiffened seperate piece, but she
                        was kind of vague about the exact nature of it, and lastly, the
                        "hood" part is pinned to the ridge made by the braids and
                        accented by the billiaments. Theoretically, the more hair the
                        woman has, the higher she can pile her hair for a taller "coronet".
                        And of course there is always the option of false hair pieces...

                        This is an intreguing theory (which she admitted wasn't
                        necessarily the be-all and end-all of french hood methods),
                        considering that it does eliminate the need for the chinstrap and
                        all... But it seems to me that it would be rather uncomfortable to
                        have that much weight supported by your hair, particularly if you
                        had a sensitive scalp. And my hair likes to laugh at braids,
                        personally. No amount of bobby pins could tame it into
                        submission (it's waist length, fine, thick and has major behavior
                        problems). The pictures she sent to me of her outfit with her hair
                        prepared in this fashion were very accurite looking, so there's at
                        least visual support for this idea being practical.
                        >
                        > Does the hair shift position, rising up the back of the head,
                        thereby
                        > forming a little rolled shelf for the later-period styles to be
                        pinned to
                        > or lean against?

                        Aside from the method I just described, I've actually braided my
                        hair in this fashion for my previous french hoods, to act as a
                        support for the paste. In my experience, however, the braids
                        eventually creep back down my head and disrupt the delicate
                        balance of the heavy hood so that it starts to fall off the back of
                        my head. The only thing that saves it usually is that I make them
                        with chin straps, because I am paranoid about losing my
                        headcovering at inconvienent times.

                        Another friend of mine suggested pinning throught the paste to
                        the hair with straight pins to keep the hood on the head. It works
                        for her, apparently, but she's got more hair than she knows what
                        to do with...

                        > There has to be some form of anchorage besides a lone
                        > comb keeping the weight of a middle-period french hood and
                        veil on. The
                        > late-period styles, preferred by Elizabeth I can easily be sat at
                        the
                        > back of the head without fear of the veil pulling it off, as the veils
                        > tended to be light airy silken things, so I think that the shape of
                        the
                        > billiment keeps it on.

                        I think those later period hats were simply the paste portion of
                        the original french hood, that was either wired with enough
                        tension to grip the head, or was judiciously pinned to the hair as
                        before. Whatever the case, I don't think they were quite as heavy
                        as a french hood, but since I've never attempted to make and
                        wear one, I can't say for sure...

                        > And I personally feel that the gold pleated ribbon is the edging
                        or body
                        > itself of an under-layer cap, at least in the early years of the
                        style,
                        > and that these earlier period hoods are built up with
                        multi-layed caps of
                        > varying sizes and shapes.

                        I agree. In the early, pre-french hood years, there is a style of
                        hood that appears to be a precurser to the french hood and
                        several depictions of it show a wide, loosely pleated gold frill at
                        the front edge. The frill in most cases is about 2 inches wide,
                        accordion pleated and almost looks as though it is an entire cap
                        of some sort. Again, since I haven't attempted this style, I can't
                        say for sure. But it is apparent that the evolution of this hood
                        morphs into the french hood around 1510 or so and the pleated
                        frill begins to get smaller and more tightly pleated as the years
                        progress. I'm placing my bets on it being attached to a coif by
                        this point

                        > If a plain white linen coif has a chinstrap to bear the weight of
                        the
                        > approaching gold and jewels, and the succeeding layers are
                        pinned on.....

                        Sounds about right as far as I'm concerned. :)

                        Sarah
                      • catherinerogerscook
                        ... figure out how the French Hood was most likely constructed. Forgive me for being dilatory in replying to your query. That ikky Real Life has been
                        Message 11 of 11 , Mar 24, 2002
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                          --- In SCA-Milliners@y..., "sarah_de_lorraine" <rynegade@a...> wrote:
                          > I've been studying Tudor portraiture for years now, trying to
                          figure > out how the French Hood was most likely constructed.

                          Forgive me for being dilatory in replying to your query. That ikky
                          Real Life has been getting in the way of my true calling.

                          Anyway, I think you are on the right track in your speculations on
                          the French Hood. I believe that whenever we look at images of women
                          from our time period with a view to understanding their
                          headcoverings, we must ask this question: "Where is the hair?"

                          I came across a wonderful article by Lady Faoiltighearna inghean mhic
                          Ghuaire on Renaissance hair taping. I recommend that you read it and
                          especially look at the 16th century French examples on the second
                          page of examples. The articl is at
                          http://www.mfgraffix.com/hird/faoilt/hairtape.html

                          If you consider the structure of the English or Gable hood, you
                          notice the "turban roll" at the hairline. I am a believer in the
                          theory that the hair was braided, wrapped in fabric and criscrossed
                          at the hairline to provide support for the gable and its bilament.

                          As the English adopted the French style hood that revealed the hair,
                          they most likely continued to braid the back hair and tape it to the
                          head in the manner of the French and Italians.

                          When you consider the cost of drawing wire at the time, the cost of
                          pins and needles was very high. Grammer Gurton's Needle, a 16th
                          century farce, turns on the loss of the only needle owned by a well-
                          to-do woman. With that as a clue, it seems reasonable that hairpins,
                          those cheap and plentiful items of 19th and 20th century hairdressing
                          would have been prohibitively expensive for most women to use to pin
                          up their hair.

                          Hair taping gives a very firm base upon which to anchor a hood, and
                          allows the hair to be bound into place on the back of the head in a
                          way that is comfortable and secure.

                          The issues you raise about the parts of the hood that are visible are
                          correct. We are not looking at one single piece, but at (at least)
                          two caps and a veil - often referred to as a curtain.

                          Go back to the fifteenth century and look at the "Anne of Brittany"
                          style hood that is the direct ancestor of the French hood. Good
                          examples are to be found in portraits by the Master of Moulins,
                          Gerard David and others of that time.

                          If you have this year's (2002) Medieval Woman calendar, there is a
                          wonderful enlargement of David's Wedding at Cana where you can
                          clearly see the two caps and the hood on the lady in the right
                          foreground.

                          I apologize for the rambling-ness of this post, and I hope it is of
                          some use to you.

                          Katharine of Cate Hall
                          Kingdom and Barony of Atenveldt
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