Female headgear in the 1400’s

A number of different styles were worn throughout the century. Any of these styles could be topped by a padded roll, sometimes arranged in a heart-shape, or a veil, or both. Veils were supported by wire frames that exaggerated the shape and were variously draped from the back of the headdress or covered the forehead.

I gather pictures of head gear. I find them in illuminated manuscripts, sketches and in paintings. Some of the pictures are quite small and a bit blurred, but I thought it was important to have pictures from different sources rather than just the famous high quality ones. I gather pictures of head gear. I find them in illuminated manuscripts, sketches and in paintings. Some of the pictures are quite small and a bit blurred, but I thought it was important to have pictures from different sources rather than just the famous high quality ones.

Simple styles

Women also wore the longed tailed hood the liripipe, or the drapped version the chaperon and a variety of related draped and wrapped turbans.

Another common style seem to have been a hood tied on top of the head.1

Women of the merchant classes in Northern Europe wore modified versions of courtly hairstyles, with coifs or caps, veils, and wimples of crisp linen (often with visible creases from ironing and folding). A brief fashion added rows of gathered frills to the coif or veil; this style is sometimes known by the German name kruseler.

Unlike in the 1300’s where many woman was shown with no head covering, even woman in bath houses were shown wearing some kind of headgear.

Jewled veils

Towards 1500 I start finding ornamented jewled veils on some of the noble ladies. They seem to be worn over some kind of cap or chin bane. They seem to be the precursers to gable hoods or french hoods.

Crespine, caul & bourrelet

The crespine of Northern Europe, originally a thick hairnet or snood, had evolved into a mesh of jeweler’s work that confined the hair on the sides of the head by the end of the 1300’s. Gradually the fullness at the sides of head was pulled up to the temples and became pointed, like horns (à corné).

By mid-1400’s, the hair was pulled back from the forehead, and the crespine, now usually called a caul, sat on the back of the head. Very fashionable women shaved their foreheads and eyebrows.

Bourrelet: A padded roll worn by woman as a headdrees, in various shapes. In the first half of the 1400’s.

Hennin

The most extravagant headdress of Burgundian fashion is the hennin, a cone or truncated-cone shaped cap with a wire frame covered in fabric and topped by a floating veil. Later hennins feature a turned-back brim, or are worn over a hood with a turned-back brim. Towards the end of the 1400’s women’s head-dresses became smaller, more convenient, and less picturesque. The gable hood, a stiff and elaborate head-dress, emerged around 1480 and was popular among elder ladies up until the mid 1500’s.  They were most common in Burgundy and France, but also elsewhere, especially at the English courts, and in Northern Europe, Hungary and Poland, while uncommon in Italy.

 

Turbans and other funky hairstyles

At the later part of the 1400’s I find pictures of women in funky onion shaped turbans. I do not know if they were a fashion in Europe or if they are meant to be exotic hairstyles. These might be elaborate hairstyles with based on a bourrelet

Commoner’s hairstyle

The peasant and servent woman seem to have been wearing mostly fairly simple veils, sometimes wrapped around their heads. Towards the later period some of them are show wearing lirpipes and the hood tied on top of their heads.

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