History of Women Hats

When it comes to hats, one may doubt that it is a frivolous accessory or a must have in daily life. One will find explicit answers if you look back to its history. During the Middle Ages, women were asked to cover their hair according to the church’s decree in earnest. In the 18th century, milliners promote the hat-making craftsmanship out of home and formed the millinery industry.

At present, a “milliner” refers to a person associated with the industry of hat making; in the 18th century, a “milliner” was more of a stylist. In tradition, a woman’s job included not only creating hats or bonnets, pairing with costumes, but also opting laces, trims and accessories. Dating back to the 1700s, the term “milliner” origins from Milan, Italy. At that time, straws were braided to make hats, and the finest forms and patterns were created.

Throughout the whole 18th century, pancake style “shepherdess” hit big among women. Hats in this period were varied in brim widths. For the sake of unpopularity of parasol in the term, these hats were taken as necessities to block harmful ultraviolet rays. In this manner, fair complexions could be protected. In the 1770s, the “calash” bonnet became popular when huge wigs and hairstyles swelled in Europe. At the time, collapsible bonnets were made of wood or whalebone to keep wearers away from effects of weather conditions. When walking in the wind, a front ribbon could be tied over their faces.

Calash-Bonnet
Calash Bonnet

In the 1780s, a simpler cotton fabric took the place of “calash” bonnets, representing the more democratic styles after the French Revolution. Bonnets featured simple ornaments and a separate ribbon were popular for all classes of then society. From time to time, elite worn bonnets with tall crowns and wide silk ribbon. However, hats fell from favour after the French Revolution. They were connected to upper echelons and democracy. From the 1790s to the 1820s, turbans were introduced and remained chic. Such inspirations came from boomed trade with India. Cotton was necessitated by its scarcity in Egypt and the United States, in spite of poor relationship with the U. S.

the more democratic styles after the French Revolution. Bonnets featured simple ornaments and a separate ribbon were popular for all classes of then society. From time to time, elite worn bonnets with tall crowns and wide silk ribbon. However, hats fell from favour after the French Revolution. They were connected to upper echelons and democracy. From the 1790s to the 1820s, turbans were introduced and remained chic. Such inspirations came from boomed trade with India. Cotton was necessitated by its scarcity in Egypt and the United States, in spite of poor relationship with the U. S.

Now Popular Bonnets

When it turned to the 1810s, straw bonnets were fashionable. So cheap “bonnet board” was used to create hats. For the purpose of creating new design, cardboard was pressed in a roller machine. To a certain extent, bonnet board was also a reflection of a lack of trade goods from the angle. Then Italy was the source of quality straw bonnets. It was proved that bonnets with silk covered buckram was ideal to keep its shape and show essence of design. In the 1820s, hats were ornamented with feather plumes and silk bows.

Bonnets represented to huge proportions. A large brim framed the contour of one’s face and hid profile from the side. A veil contributed to its mysterious identities, proprieties as well as delicate skin.

I will introduce more detailed historical information next time. Thanks for you reading.

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