Head Coverings

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Head Coverings

Head Covering

…any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head—it is one and the same thing as having her head shaved. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil.
St. Paul, Letter to the Corinthians

All women and girls who have passed puberty must cover the tops of their heads. A simple headscarf is sufficient for “domestic” purposes, such as working around a fire.

However, for “going out” or performing high status activities (such as embroidering or music) a more formal style of head covering must be worn over a cap or scarf. All outer coverings should partially cover the lower neck and breast bone; a good rule of thumb is that they should hide the neckline of the dress underneath and no hair should really be easily visible.

No circlets or bands should be worn over the head covering. Embroidery is for RICH English only and is only found on headbands worn under the head covering. Simple decorative stitching is allowed, but most outer coverings should to be plain and ideally of natural or bleached linen or wool. It is worth noting however that pure white linen is considered RICH.

So basically a lady should wear a head covering consisting of two parts, a base layer that may be a cap, headscarf or headband. Over this should be worn the outer covering of a wimple or veil that is typically pinned in place.

Veil

All Periods
A piece of cloth that is wrapped around the head and shoulders as a covering and is usually pinned to a cap or band beneath. Veils should be worn in such a way as to cover the hair and neckline.

Veil

Veil

Wimple

All Periods (but really Mid to Very Late

Wimple

Wimple

Palla

Very Early to Early
A large rectangle of cloth worn draped over the head and pinned at the throat with a brooch.


Open Palla
by Louise Archer (GA)

Closed Palla London, British Library, MS Cotton Galba A XVIII fol.120v (GA)

Closed Palla
London, British Library, MS Cotton Galba A XVIII fol.120v (GA)

Closed Palla by Louise Archer (GA)

Closed Palla
by Louise Archer (GA)

Cap


Cap



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Women's Clothing




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