How to make medieval headwear

Updated March 23, 2017

During the medieval era, women were required to sport headwear that covered their hair. The lack of a hat implied lower status. There was a variety of headwear for women to wear, depending upon their social status and costumes worn for public events. Peasants and middle-class women often wore muffin caps with heir hair tucked up into it. Noblewomen often wore a one-horned henins, as poise and grace was required to wear them. They sat on the head at roughly a 40-degree angle and varied in height from 20 to 60 cm (9 inches to 2 feet).

Measure your head where you would like the cap to rest.

Add an inch to the above measurement and cut a piece of extra-wide, double-fold bias tape to length.

Cut out a 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inch) circle out of cotton or linen material. More fabric creates a puffier hat.

Baste along the outer edge of the circle with long stitches.

Gather the fabric by lightly pulling the thread. Fold outer edge of circle over bias tape and secure with a hemstitch.

Make a sample brim out of paper to test the size and shape it to the face of the wearer.

Trace the shape of the sample brim onto material and cut out two pieces.

Sew sides of the brim together, leaving the side where the circle will be attached open.

Place the circle inside the brim pieces, fold the edges of the brim inward and stitch it closed.

Fold cardstock or poster board into a cone. The large hole should fit loosely on the head just above the ears.

Trim the cone to the desired height. The top of the cone should have a small opening not to exceed a 5 cm (2 inch) circumference.

Use hot glue to secure the edges of the cone.

Cover the cone with fabric. Common material includes felt and velvet, but silk, satin and linen can also be used. The fabric can be attached to the cone with hot glue.

Attach embellishments to the brim of the cone such as ribbon, gemstones or beads.

Push a gauzy natural fabric such as silk chiffon through the opening at the top of the cone. Secure with hot glue. The length of the fabric can range from shoulder length to the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Bias tape
  • Fabric
  • Needle and thread
  • Paper
  • Cardstock
  • Hot glue
  • Embellishments
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About the Author

Cyndi Bass has been writing professionally since 2000. She specializes in writing about self-help, weight loss, health, credit, families, parenting and government assistance programs. Her experience includes ghostwriting for numerous websites, blogs and newsletters. She has worked in social services in the credit industry and she holds a human service certificate from the University of California at Davis.