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Re: [SCA-Milliners] Making Medieval Hats

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  • Cynthia Virtue
    ... I thought they d only identified it as wire that we think was part of a headress but we have no idea. I ll have to go back and look at it harder. It
    Message 1 of 22 , Oct 2, 2000
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      Danabren wrote:
      > Not so far as I know, besides some information in the London Museum
      > series, specifially Clothing & Accessories, in which they have a photo of
      > an extant wire form from a ram's horm style caul

      I thought they'd only identified it as 'wire that we think was part of a
      headress but we have no idea.' I'll have to go back and look at it
      harder. It just looks like two loops of wire to me.

      I wonder if using acrylic spray sealer for artwork (krylon, etc) would
      work to weatherproof buckram?

      --
      Cynthia du Pré Argent
      "Such virtue hath my pen...." -Shakespeare, Sonnet LXXXI
      "I knew this wasn't _my_ pen!" --Cynthia V.
    • Leah Lloyd
      ... I can see Beo doing this.... :) ... What about using floral foam? Or putting some sort of non-drying putty into the drilled hole, so that the pin has
      Message 2 of 22 , Oct 2, 2000
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        On Mon, 2 Oct 2000 16:42:47 -0400 Irene leNoir <irene@...> writes:
        > >If you have made such a hat, what has worked for you?
        > >What has not worked?
        >
        > I've made two steeple henins. (snip)
        > Unfortunately shortly after the
        > hat was completed my lord dumped something on top of it. I never
        > could quite get the resulting crease out of it.

        I can see Beo doing this.... :)

        > Either way, I'm thinking that the
        > very tip of the cone will be made from a small cone of wood with a
        > pre-drilled hole. That way when I pin into the tip of the cone for
        > the veil, the pin won't crunch the infrastructure.

        What about using floral foam? Or putting some sort of non-drying putty
        into the drilled hole, so that the pin has something to grip when placed?

        > I'm also interested in what has and hasn't worked for other people,
        > particularly for this style of hat.
        >
        > Jessica Clark

        As a personal preference, I would not make a steeple hennin with a point,
        and while I would not tell anyone *not* to do it, my research has told me
        that only Princesses (and Queens) were allowed to wear that style of hat
        in a height of greater than 22". (But it could certainly be in error, or
        strictly limited to a single geographical area) Which seems to me,
        thereby, to be a logical progression as to how truncated hennins came to
        be - some uppity noblewoman showed off her hat, taller than the resident
        Princess', and the Princess had it, er, shortened - whether forcibly or
        not is irrelevant! (Think of later-period gentles trying to enter cities
        and having their stiffened collar ruffles hacked down by city guards to
        no wider than the width of their shoulders due to sumptuary laws, and you
        get the idea) Also, I get quite enough guff already from people about
        wearing tall hats, as I'm over six foot :)

        Additionally, a truncated style keeps you from whacking your head into
        doorways, other people, and keeps you from the dreaded limp-tip syndrome!

        How do you pin the veil? Do you straight pin it at both temples and at
        the tip of the cone, or only at the tip? Fastening it at the temples will
        keep the wind from blowing your veil off center (hideously embarrassing
        at outdoor events! And if your own friends won't tell you that your veil
        is hanging off the side of your hat, who will?) I wouldn't ask these
        questions, except that I wasn't wearing contacts or glasses last weekend
        and couldn't examine your hat the way I wanted to :) And what do you do
        about lappets?

        Danabren
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      • Irene leNoir
        ... It was wire screening. ... There s a thought! :) (But I threw it out years ago. Oh well.) ... Definitely an idea. Sometime soon when I find some of
        Message 3 of 22 , Oct 2, 2000
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          >> For the first I used a base of window screening.
          >Was it fiberglass screening, or wire screening?

          It was wire screening.

          >(You could add a brim and cover it black, and turn it
          >into a truly fearsome witches' hat for Halloween!)

          There's a thought! :) (But I threw it out years ago. Oh well.)

          >Maybe a little wire cage for the tip, pointed? That way
          >you could pin it anywhere. Might be lighter, as well.

          Definitely an idea. Sometime soon when I find some of that myserious
          copius spare time I'm going to play with a couple possible materials for
          the main form. Once I decide what to use for that it will be easier to
          choose what (if different) to use for the tip.

          >And I forgot to ask you at Coronation (EK) -- how do
          >you hold yours on?

          I actually do something that some people consider rather scary - I anchor
          it to the roots of my hair.

          Really, it's not that bad. I put my hair into a topknot. Then I take a
          comb and stick it into the hair in front of the topknot. Then I stick
          another comb into the hair in front of the first comb, etc., etc., until
          I've stacked combs forward just about to the hairline. The last comb
          slips through loops on the front lower inside edge of the henin before
          being tucked into the previous comb.

          What this does is transfer all the force of the hat through the combs to
          the topknot. As I'm sure we've all discovered at one point or another,
          pulling on all your hair at once doesn't hurt nearly as much as pulling
          on one single hair. Since all the force is applied rather evenly to all
          of my hair, all it feels like is a gentle tugging sensation, and it
          doesn't hurt. I've worn the henin in moderately high winds, and for up
          to six hours at a stretch without any problems.

          Of course, this method isn't for everyone. I know there are people who
          get horrible headaches just from putting their hair into a ponytail. I
          wouldn't recommend this approach for them. Also, I have absolutely no
          evidence for this being historically accurate. I've heard many theories
          about how they attached them (including the idea that they glued them to
          their heads with pine pitch - yeah right!), but I don't as yet have a
          personal opinion on how they really did it. I just use this method
          because it works for me.

          Jessica Clark
          SCA: Irène leNoir
          irene@...
          http://home.ici.net/~beowulf/jessica
        • Brinkman, Dena J (Dena)
          Plastic canvas works well also (but definitely NOT period). Beldena van de Leeuwe
          Message 4 of 22 , Oct 2, 2000
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            Plastic canvas works well also (but definitely NOT period).

            Beldena van de Leeuwe

            > ----------
            > From: Irene leNoir[SMTP:irene@...]
            > Reply To: SCA-Milliners@egroups.com
            > Sent: Monday, October 02, 2000 2:42 PM
            > To: SCA-Milliners@egroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [SCA-Milliners] Making Medieval Hats
            >
            > >If you have made such a hat, what has worked for you?
            > >What has not worked?
            >
            > I've made two steeple henins.
            >
            > For the first I used a base of window screening. I chose this blatantly
            > non-period choice because I wanted something that wasn't weather
            > sensitive. Also it was nice and light. Unfortunately shortly after the
            > hat was completed my lord dumped something on top of it. I never could
            > quite get the resulting crease out of it.
            >
            > For my second attempt I decided to go with buckram. I figured that I'd
            > risk the weather problem since I realized that I'm hardly ever outside in
            > the rain anyway. Also, with the buckram, if something got dumped on the
            > hat, I could use steam to reshape it and remove any creases.
            >
            > I've had this second henin for several years now. It has worked pretty
            > well. Unfortunately, It is now in need of replacement as over time it
            > has gotten the tip whacked against too many door frames, and it is now
            > bent pretty badly just at the tip. I think another contributing factor
            > to the bent tip has been that although I formed the core from a nice
            > precise cone of buckram, I've slowly over time crunched the tip as I've
            > pinned the veil into the point of it.
            >
            > I'm now debating whether I'll go with the buckram again, or whether I
            > might be brave enough to try wicker. Either way, I'm thinking that the
            > very tip of the cone will be made from a small cone of wood with a
            > pre-drilled hole. That way when I pin into the tip of the cone for the
            > veil, the pin won't crunch the infrastructure.
            >
            >
            > I'm also interested in what has and hasn't worked for other people,
            > particularly for this style of hat.
            >
            > Jessica Clark
            > SCA: Irène leNoir
            > irene@...
            > http://home.ici.net/~beowulf/jessica
            >
            >
            >
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            >
          • Leah Lloyd
            ... it ... It s two loops made from a single length of wire, the raw ends being bent around itself in way as to hold it in shape. Look at it upside down, and
            Message 5 of 22 , Oct 2, 2000
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              > Danabren wrote:
              > > Not so far as I know, besides some information in the London Museum
              > > series, specifially Clothing & Accessories, in which they have a
              > photo of
              > > an extant wire form from a ram's horm style caul
              >
              > I thought they'd only identified it as 'wire that we think was part
              > of a headress but we have no idea.' I'll have to go back and look at
              it
              > harder. It just looks like two loops of wire to me.

              It's two loops made from a single length of wire, the raw ends being bent
              around itself in way as to hold it in shape. Look at it upside down, and
              constructing a caul from it (as a basic shape to be covered and attached
              thereby to your head in whichever mode chosen) makes much more sense than
              the way it is presented.

              I looked at it for quite a while thinking "That just doesn't look
              right..." and when I spun the picture around, it looked better as a
              design & concept. It's possible that the museum photographer (or whoever
              was dealing with the article in question) wanted to show the
              construction, rather than it's used position.

              I don't have the book itself (mea culpa), but rather a copy of the page,
              which is still in box somewhere. If you could give the list the page #
              and relevant info, I'd appreciate it.

              Danabren
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            • Irene leNoir
              ... Yep. :) Which is why when I made the second hat I made a protective box for it at the same time so that the instant it was finished it could go into the
              Message 6 of 22 , Oct 2, 2000
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                >I can see Beo doing this.... :)

                Yep. :)

                Which is why when I made the second hat I made a protective box for it at
                the same time so that the instant it was finished it could go into the
                box. (I actually finished the box before the hat.)

                >What about using floral foam?

                I'd worry that over time, repetetive pinning would cause the foam to
                crumble.

                >Or putting some sort of non-drying putty
                >into the drilled hole, so that the pin has
                >something to grip when placed?

                I don't think it will actually be a problem, as the pin will have to pass
                through the outer "fashion fabric" first. That will give it enough
                resistance.

                >my research has told me that only Princesses (and Queens)
                >were allowed to wear that style of hat in a height of
                >greater than 22".

                I've heard similar things as well, but never gotten around to tracking
                them down. Could you share where you found this information?

                Coincidentally though, my henin is actually only about 22" anyway. (18"
                from the top/back of my head, probably about 22" from the hairline.)
                When I built it I very carefully made sure that I didn't make it so tall
                that I couldn't reach the tip.

                >How do you pin the veil?

                I pin it at the center front lower edge with a regular sewing pin. Then
                I pin it at the tip with a corsage pin.

                Hmmm... now that I think of it, I could just use a regular pin at the tip
                as well, and then only pin into the outer fabric, thus avoiding the limp
                tip problem again. I'm not sure why I do it the way I do. I can't
                recall why I started doing it that way, and it's sorta just become and
                "I've always done it that way" thing.

                Thanks for asking! :)

                Now I don't have to worry about the tip. Yay!

                >And what do you do about lappets?

                I just don't have them. I prefer the plain style.

                Jessica Clark
                SCA: Irène leNoir
                irene@...
                http://home.ici.net/~beowulf/jessica
              • Leah Lloyd
                ... *sigh* I KNEW someone was going to call me on this. I will hunt it down and post it as soon as I find it. Danabren
                Message 7 of 22 , Oct 2, 2000
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                  > >my research has told me that only Princesses (and Queens)
                  > >were allowed to wear that style of hat in a height of
                  > >greater than 22".
                  >
                  > I've heard similar things as well, but never gotten around to
                  > tracking
                  > them down. Could you share where you found this information?

                  *sigh* I KNEW someone was going to call me on this. I will hunt it down
                  and post it as soon as I find it.

                  Danabren
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                • kcncress@aol.com
                  Irene was not so far off with the window screen hennin. Is it so far fetched that a metal frame could be made, and possibly a wire mesh used to support the
                  Message 8 of 22 , Oct 3, 2000
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                    Irene was not so far off with the window screen hennin. Is it so far fetched
                    that a metal frame could be made, and possibly a wire mesh used to support
                    the extreme height of these hats?

                    We have a standing "arguement" here in Calontir, among the Milliners. I
                    firmly beleive that there are heads out there that are just not shaped to
                    accomodate tall hennins. Notice the variety of styles worn when it was
                    popular. I also personally feel that hair was the base shape that helped
                    hold an extreme headpeice in place. Also, a cap of some sort helps to
                    stabilize the structure....hair is sooooo slippery.

                    I am a felter. Extreme shapes and odd styles of medieval hats are so much
                    fun to make. I would agree that felt for a steeple hennin would require alot
                    of starch/glue/stiffener, and wouldn't be the best choice for this hat,
                    although felt is a good medium for half hennins and fezes.

                    My vote for a stiffening agent for your steeple hennin would be buckram or
                    cardboard. Good luck, and keep us posted on your newest headgear!

                    Dejaniera de la Mille Coeur
                    Barony of Forgotten Sea, Calontir
                  • Leah Lloyd
                    ... Are you the Dejaniera referred to as The Veil Lady here in the East, who used to sell veils at Pennsic? I had her card but promptly lost it, and there
                    Message 9 of 22 , Oct 3, 2000
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                      > Dejaniera de la Mille Coeur
                      > Barony of Forgotten Sea, Calontir

                      Are you the Dejaniera referred to as The Veil Lady here in the East, who
                      used to sell veils at Pennsic? I had her card but promptly lost it, and
                      there are lots of Easterners who are bereft without her wares....

                      Danabren
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                    • EHW
                      ... It is my understanding that sumptuary laws were often in place to bring in income to the kingdom. If someone broke the sump. law then they would be
                      Message 10 of 22 , Oct 3, 2000
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                        On 2 Oct 2000, at 22:08, Leah Lloyd wrote:

                        > > >my research has told me that only Princesses (and Queens)
                        > > >were allowed to wear that style of hat in a height of
                        > > >greater than 22".
                        > >
                        > > I've heard similar things as well, but never gotten around to
                        > > tracking
                        > > them down. Could you share where you found this information?
                        >
                        > *sigh* I KNEW someone was going to call me on this. I will hunt it
                        > down and post it as soon as I find it.
                        >
                        > Danabren


                        It is my understanding that sumptuary laws were often in place to
                        bring in income to the kingdom. If someone broke the sump. law
                        then they would be fined. To break the law meant you could afford
                        to do so and hence gained you certain social standing. I know this
                        was true in England during certain time periods, I don't know about
                        others so it could be wrong with reference to the above question.
                        Astridhr
                      • kcncress@aol.com
                        In a message dated 10/3/00 8:19:19 AM Pacific Daylight Time, danabren@juno.com writes: Are you the Dejaniera referred to as The Veil Lady here in the East,
                        Message 11 of 22 , Oct 4, 2000
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                          In a message dated 10/3/00 8:19:19 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                          danabren@... writes:

                          Are you the Dejaniera referred to as The Veil Lady here in the East, who
                          used to sell veils at Pennsic? I had her card but promptly lost it, and
                          there are lots of Easterners who are bereft without her wares....

                          No, but I would wager you are speaking of Mistress Myra Needlesang. I
                          checked my newsletters for an address, but will have to look her up and let
                          her know you inquired of her. She usually attends our Lilies War in early
                          June, and sells her veils there.....I have two myself!


                          Dejaniera
                        • Cynthia Virtue
                          ... Could you tell us about these wonderful veils? -- Cynthia du Pré Argent Such virtue hath my pen.... -Shakespeare, Sonnet LXXXI I knew this wasn t _my_
                          Message 12 of 22 , Oct 4, 2000
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                            > Mistress Myra Needlesang. [...] She usually attends our Lilies War in early
                            > June, and sells her veils there.....I have two myself!

                            Could you tell us about these wonderful veils?

                            --
                            Cynthia du Pré Argent
                            "Such virtue hath my pen...." -Shakespeare, Sonnet LXXXI
                            "I knew this wasn't _my_ pen!" --Cynthia V.
                          • Leah Lloyd
                            On Wed, 04 Oct 2000 08:32:24 -0400 Cynthia Virtue ... Ooooooo - if she s who used to be a part of the Calontir Small Merchants Guild (?)
                            Message 13 of 22 , Oct 4, 2000
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                              On Wed, 04 Oct 2000 08:32:24 -0400 Cynthia Virtue <cvirtue@...>
                              writes:
                              >
                              > > Mistress Myra Needlesang. [...] She usually attends our Lilies War
                              > in early
                              > > June, and sells her veils there.....I have two myself!
                              >
                              > Could you tell us about these wonderful veils?

                              Ooooooo - if she's who used to be a part of the Calontir Small Merchants
                              Guild (?) about 4 years back, yay! She has a machine which rolls the
                              edges of veils beautifully. They are the perfect weight, soft pre-washed
                              cotton, in various colors. Every Norman persona should have a dozen of
                              her wares! Various lengths and sizes as well, from small round to 6'
                              ovals. I find them extremely versatile for using as gorgets, coifs,
                              wimples, layered normans, extra layers atop hennins.....basically
                              anywhere that I need a veil where I don't want to use sheer silk, I use
                              one of her veils. It used to be a tradition among some friends of mine,
                              that every year, no matter what else we wanted, come Pennsic we would go
                              to the Veil Lady FIRST and buy a new veil. We've been bereft without her
                              to look forward to, and every year the 1st one out there has the sad
                              responsibility of reporting that once again she's still not there.

                              Danabren


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                            • Danielle Nunn-Weinberg
                              Greetings, ...
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jan 9, 2001
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                                Greetings,

                                --- In SCA-Milliners@egroups.com, Irene leNoir <irene@i...> wrote:
                                <snip

                                > >my research has told me that only Princesses (and Queens)
                                > >were allowed to wear that style of hat in a height of
                                > >greater than 22".
                                >
                                > I've heard similar things as well, but never gotten around to
                                tracking
                                > them down. Could you share where you found this information?

                                Yes please! Hennins have always interested me. Although I'm rather
                                afraid to do one given the fact that I'm 5'10".

                                <snip>

                                > >And what do you do about lappets?
                                >
                                > I just don't have them. I prefer the plain style.

                                Do any of you have pictures of you in your hennins? I would love to
                                see them.

                                Cheers,
                                Gwendoline
                              • Leah Lloyd
                                ... I am actually still poking around for the info - haven t forgotten! Danabren ________________________________________________________________ GET INTERNET
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jan 9, 2001
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                                  > > >my research has told me that only Princesses (and Queens)
                                  > > >were allowed to wear that style of hat in a height of
                                  > > >greater than 22".
                                  > >
                                  > > I've heard similar things as well, but never gotten around to
                                  > tracking them down. Could you share where you found this information?
                                  >
                                  > Yes please! Hennins have always interested me. Although I'm rather
                                  > afraid to do one given the fact that I'm 5'10".

                                  I am actually still poking around for the info - haven't forgotten!

                                  Danabren
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                                • Irene leNoir
                                  ... Unfortunately I don t. I don t suppose by any chance that you live in the East Kingdom? Jessica Clark SCA: Irène leNoir irene@ici.net
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jan 9, 2001
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                                    >Do any of you have pictures of you in your hennins?
                                    >I would love to see them.

                                    Unfortunately I don't. I don't suppose by any chance that you live in
                                    the East Kingdom?

                                    Jessica Clark
                                    SCA: Irène leNoir
                                    irene@...
                                    http://home.ici.net/~beowulf/jessica
                                  • Danielle Nunn-Weinberg
                                    Greetings, ... in ... Nope, unfortunately I don t. I live in Ealdormere. : ) I suppose you re like me and have hardly any pictures of yourself? My thing
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jan 10, 2001
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                                      Greetings,

                                      --- In SCA-Milliners@egroups.com, Irene leNoir <irene@i...> wrote:
                                      > >Do any of you have pictures of you in your hennins?
                                      > >I would love to see them.
                                      >
                                      > Unfortunately I don't. I don't suppose by any chance that you live
                                      in
                                      > the East Kingdom?

                                      Nope, unfortunately I don't. I live in Ealdormere. : ) I suppose
                                      you're like me and have hardly any pictures of yourself? My thing is
                                      usually Elizabethan tall hats.

                                      Cheers,
                                      Gwendoline
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