English and French hoods

This illustration, adapted from Norris' "Tudor Costume and Fashion," shows the shapes of the cloth from which an English and French hood were made.

Herbert Norris described how an English hood was made in pp. 97-108 of the 1997 Dover re-issue of Tudor Costume and Fashion - The lady wore a cap, or "coif," underneath the hood. The coif had a polyhedral shape with an opening at the bottom and front. The back was solid as were the right and left sides and the right upper and left upper sides that met at the top to form the gable. The right and left sides ended in a lappet on each side.

Construction of the hood that sat on top of the coif began with a semicircular piece of black cloth about two feet in radius. A decorative frontlet was attached to the straight edge and slits were cut maybe nine inches in from the round edge on each side just behind the frontlet, and another slit, running parallel to the straight edge, was cut in several inches behind the forward slit. The result was a semicircular piece of cloth with a decorative edge and four slits, two on each side, running parallel to the straight edge. The cloth just behind the frontlet falls as a lappet while the rest of the semicircular piece forms a veil. The lady thus wears a double headdress with two lappets and one veil (and Norris mentions a lady who wore yet another coif to form a triple headdress on p.107 of this work).

Wires or parchment were used to form the sharp sides and upper ridge of the gable.


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