Thursday, July 5, 2012


From Allison-Antrim Museum, Greencastle, PA

ca. 1770–1800   A green silk calash drawn bonnet originally invented to be worn over the high hairstyles of the 1770’s. 
A long lasting design, it continued to be worn by women until at least the 1830’s!  Because of some design changes, the later bonnets did not collapse as did the earlier 1800–1820   A silk Quaker bonnet in the prevalent form of the period. 
The difference is in “the choice of color, materials, and decidedly plain aspect.  The flat pleating of the crown is very typical Quaker design.  A shawl and two caps accompanied the bonnet in its original box.
Ladies of this period, while wearing these hats, had no peripheral vision.  It would have been like wearing horse blinders.
This display head and the one next to it are reproductions of papier-mâché display heads from the 1840’s and 1850’s.

ca. 1820–1840    Fancy woven straw bonnet with original blue gauze ribbon trim and pale pink silk lining. 
The evidence of a “curtain”, that hung over the neck and used to be attached at the bonnet’s crown, indicates an earlier date of possibly the 1820’s.  I have been conservative in placing the date.

Fashionable head dresses of 1789.Fashionable head dresses of 1789. 

Elaborate hat, France, 1780[Elaborate hat, France, 1780s.]

M. Nicholson.


Mrs. Drury. Mrs. Drury.

Bonnet, 1786.  Bonnet, 1786

straw hat
Straw Hat
Mid to Late 1700's

mob cap
 Mob Cap

A. Carding (combing the fibers),

Bowing (cleaning and fluffing)
B. Matting (various layers of the fiber into felt)
C. Basoning (manipulated the batt of felt
into a triangular shape called a capade
or gore that will become the crown of the Hat)
D. Flanging (attaching the brim)
E. Blocking (forcing the hat body onto a wood form
and stamping the moisture from it) 

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