Cauls and Flat Caps

topic posted Wed, September 1, 2010 - 8:38 PM by  Unsubscribed
I am having a hard time finding solid documentation for their construction/patterning. Already went to the Atlantian MoAS link site, and I don't know where else to look.

I don't have JSTOR, or anything related, but if there is a book generally held at large university libraries I have access to those. I have PoF, not PoF 4 or The Tudor Tailor. I'm I just missing some place really obvious to look?
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  • Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

    Wed, September 1, 2010 - 8:52 PM
    Embroidered coifs can be found in PoF4. As to cauls and flat caps, I think they are based more on educated guesses of what the images look like. Oh, knitted flat caps I think can be found in a big book on the Mary Rose, which I think ws called "Before the Mast: Life and Death Aboard the Mary Rose" in doing an amazon search.

    There may also be more info in Textiles and Clothing, c.1150-1450 by by Elisabeth Crowfoot. I have the book, but don't remember exactly what all was in it that would apply. There is a similar book for the Tudor period but I don't have the book, and it mostly contained stuff I wasn't interested in, like metal items.

    Anyway, hopefully those will give you a start.
  • Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

    Fri, September 3, 2010 - 11:44 AM
    Anybody care to discuss the similarities/differences between a headcovering that is called a caul and a headcovering that is called a coif?
    This may be purely etymological, but worth noting. I've been given to understand that the terms are nigh unto interchangeable, with variances for time period and region.
    So if we're looking for an extant caul and not a coif, what precisely are we looking for?
    Could we also come up with a timeline of "flat cap" references and/or definitions while we're at it, so we know the beastie when we sees it, instead of rehashing ren-faire retail hat names and derivations of the brown book?
    Frankly I've been wondering about this issue of headwear words for a while, it's just been on the back burner.

    (goes to dig out PoF4 and see what it says, having no access to OED)
    • Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

      Fri, September 3, 2010 - 12:20 PM
      Great question!

      Here's the OED on the three terms:

      [a. F. cale a kind of small cap or head-dress.] 
       1. A kind of close-fitting cap, worn by women: a net for the hair; a netted cap or head-dress, often richly ornamented. Obs. exc. Hist.
      a1327 Pol. Songs (1839) 158 Heo..scrynketh for shome, ant shometh for men, Un-comely under calle. c1374 CHAUCER Troylus III. 725 And makyn hym a howe [hood] above a calle. c1391 Astrol. I. §19 A maner krokede to the werk of a womanes calle. c1450 Voc. in Wr.-Wülcker 607 Reticulum, a calle. 1530 PALSGR. 202/2 Call for Maydens, retz de soye. 1557 Tottell's Misc. (Arb.) 201 On her head a caule of gold she ware. 1600 HAKLUYT Voy. (1810) III. 524 Feathers, and cals of net worke.

      it acquired the anatomical meaning just as early:
        4. Anat. Any investing membrane or structure, as the membranes of the brain. caul of the heart: app. the pericardium; also fig. (from Hosea xiii. 8; cf. Joel ii. 13). Obs. in general sense.
      1398 TREVISA Barth. De P.R. V. iii. (1495) 107 A merueyllous calle in whiche calle the brayne is wounded and by~clypped. 1533 ELYOT Cast. Helth (1541) 12 Calles betwixt the uttermoste skinne and the fleshe.

      coif is also early:
        1. A close-fitting cap covering the top, back, and sides of the head.    a. In early use a cap of this kind, tied like a night-cap under the chin, worn out of doors by both sexes.    b. In later use, worn by men only as a night-cap, skull-cap, under-cap. Obs.

      [ME. coyfe, a. OF. coife, coiffe (= Prov. cofa, Sp. cofia, Pg. coifa, It. cuffia):late L. *cuffia (cofea in Venant. Fortunatus, cuphia in Alcuin), supposed by Diez and others to represent an OHG. *kupphja, deriv. of OHG. chuppha, MHG. kupfe cap.] 
      [1292 BRITTON I. vi. §2 Et cum aucuns felouns vendrount en jugement a respoundre de lour felonie, volom nous qe il veignent dechaucez et deceyntz sauntz coyfe, et a teste descoverte, en pure lour cote.] c1325 Poem temp. Edw. II, (Percy) xvi, A coyf to bind with his locks. a1350 Evil Times Edw. II, 117 in Pol. Songs (Camden) 329 Somme [wantonne prestes]..ben ashamed of the werke the bishop hem bitok, At even he set upon a koife, and kembeth the croket. 1490 CAXTON Eneydos xvi. 62 He maketh his longe heres to be bounden in a coyffe rounde aboute his hed. 1533 ELYOT Cast. Helthe IV. (R.), I dyd throwe away my quylted cappe, and my other close bonnettes, and onely dyd lye in a thynne coyfe. 1591 FLORIO 2nd Fruites 131 To thee, all catts are graie in the darke and euerie quoife will serue a nights. 1603 Ceremonies at Coronat. Jas. I (1685) 8 A shallow Quoif is put on the Kings head.

        1. A round cap with a low, flat crown, worn in the 16-17th c. by London citizens. Obs.
      1598 B. JONSON Ev. Man in Hum. II. i, Mock me all over From my flat-cap, unto my shining shoes. 1615 J. STEPHENS Satyr. Ess. 292 With the same confidence that ignorant Painters make a broad face and a flat-cap to signifie King Harry the Eight. 1630 DEKKER 2nd Pt. Honest Wh. I. Wks. 1873 II. 110 Flat caps as proper are to Citty Gownes kings their Crownes. 1688 R. HOLME Armoury III. i. 11/2. 1891 C. CREIGHTON Hist. Epidemics Brit. 483 The sight of a Londoner's flat-cap was dreadful to a lob. [These are all the references given by the OED for this definition]

      2. One who wears a flat-cap; esp. a London citizen or 'prentice.
      1600 HEYWOOD 1 Edw. IV, I. Wks. 1874 I. 18 Flat-caps thou call'st vs. We scorne not the name.

      and for good measure:
      [< Middle French beguin (French béguin) child's cap or coif (16th cent.), type of headgear, originally with allusion to the distinctive type of coif fastened beneath the chin worn by the Beguines (1387), transferred use of beguin, masculine form corresponding to beguine BEGUINE n.1
      In French regional use the word is found in application to numerous different types of hats, coifs, wimples, or other types of headgear, as are various derivative formations from it: see Französisches etymol. Wörterbuch at *beggen.

      {dag}1. a. A child's cap. Obs.
      1511 Demandes Joyous 39 in Dialogue Salomon & Saturnus (1848) 290 Her moder put no begyn on her heed in her yought. 1530 J. PALSGRAVE Lesclarcissement 198/1 Byggen for a chyldes heed, beguyne. 1578 H. WOTTON tr. J. Yver Courtlie Controuersie V. 272, I woulde not hereby that men shoulde returne vnto the lasinesse of the tyme paste, wherin bearded men weare biggins, driueling and dandeling in their mothers lappes, betwene sisters and the chambermaids, & rode on cockhorse vpon a staffe.

      2. A cap, a hood, esp. a nightcap (now hist. and rare).
      1558 W. BULLEIN Govt. Healthe f. lxi, Wyth roses, and vineger, and rewe stamped together, and put in forred clothe or biggen, applied vnto the temples of the heade or forehead, do seace greuous paynes in the head. 1589 J. LYLY Pappe with Hatchet sig. B ij b, [His] head is swolne so big, that he had neede send to the cooper to make him a biggin. 1600 SHAKESPEARE Henry IV, Pt. 2 IV. iii. 158 He whose brow (with homely biggen bound) Snores out the watch of night.

      ...So what I'm getting from this is that a caul is more close-fitting and ornamental; a coif can be ornamental or purely functional and more likely to extend down over the ears and neck (I tend to use coif if it's made of linen and caul if it's netted or other fabric); a biggen is considered a functional, tying-beneath-the-chin type of coif; and a flat cap as, well, what we call a flat cap. Interesting that it seems to be mostly associated with Londoners.
      • Sue
        offline 0

        Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

        Sat, May 28, 2011 - 12:11 PM
        Hi, I am looking for a pattern that Holliday Grainger wers in the Borgias. It is a type of snood that can be worn with hair down. Net pattern, pearled. She wore a pick one, and a dark brown. Do you know what I am talking about?
        Thank You, Sue
        • Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

          Sat, May 28, 2011 - 5:49 PM
          I don't watch the Borgias, so not sure exactly what you are looking for.

          Doing a quick look around at images, I guess you mean something like this?

          If that's what you are looking for, I'd suggest using Lynn McMaster's pattern, and modifying it closer to what you want.

          • Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

            Thu, June 2, 2011 - 6:17 PM
            We have Italians in our court group and I have seen this style of caul called a "reticulated caul" but I don't have the source of that in front of me...from the art work it looks to be either a rectangle or long oval shape draped over the head like a veil and held in place by a cord or thin ribbon tied around the head at forehead level. The version worn in The Borgias eliminates the cord/ribbon.

            IIRC the style noted (worn in The Borgias) is c. 1490s and not Elizabethan. The closest thing to it I have seen for the Elizabethan period would be the beaded net caul worn by Eleanore de Toledo, Grand Duchess of Tuscany.

    • Unsu...

      Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

      Fri, September 3, 2010 - 12:26 PM
      So I am under the impression that a coif is made as Laura Mellin makes them, or . It is cut shaped, like a rectangle with S squiggle short sides, and covers over the ears at least a little. A caul is, as best as anyone else makes it, a circle gathered into a flat band which sits behind the ears.

      Cauls are closer to a snood, but normally smaller, and stiffer, and maybe 70-90% of the time made of fabric instead of netting.

      I mean flat cap as a most often wool, or sometimes velvet/silk 95% of the time black with a white ostrich feather sticking out of the side "flat cap". Not knitted, most assuredly.

      I'm already doing the 12th Night panic, and I need to cover my head, as I have a mohawk. I'm doing late period northern Italian/Southern Germany/Swiss/Austrian, that small geographic region nested into the foothills of the Alps. If there's another head covering combo for upper-middle class let me know.
      • Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

        Fri, September 3, 2010 - 1:45 PM
        Far more common for that region is the Wulst/Steuchlein combintation (the Wulst is *under* the Stuechlein, and it is generally agreed that the Wulst is what what give the hat it's shape.

        As seen here:

        And when I say far more common, I mean, "I know everyone wants to wear a Tellerbarret/'Flat Cap' sort of hat. But most women DID NOT."
        • Unsu...

          Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

          Fri, September 3, 2010 - 3:25 PM
          I mean I don't want a knit flat cap, because I don't knit.

          I am aware of the popularity of the caul/flat cap mixture. Most pictures I've seen of women from this small region in their Sunday best aren't wearing a head covering large enough to hide my very modern hair, which is why I'm choosing it. For ease of not needing to defend every single choice I make and take up fully half the thread in said defense, here's my loose research file:

          That has all my thoughts on each piece of documentation, and some pictures are only relevant if I change my mind about which outfit to do. Most of it is links to other websites, like LACMA. It' really scatter-brained.

          *caveat* I'm choosing the transverse flutist because I play flute, and I wish I could find more documentation for those sleeves, but I will probably be closer to the Hessan woman. I may also just do a caul/snood, and if any of you on here are from Atlantia and going to 12th nght, you have been duly forewarned that I have a blue-green dreaded mohawk, and I'm not sorry that it might ruin the periodicty of your night. >:p
          • Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

            Fri, September 3, 2010 - 3:39 PM
            If I had that mohawk I would look into making some period Zopfe (false braids) in the myriad of colors that they came in and rock the parti-colored hair instead.

      • Re: Cauls and Flat Caps

        Fri, September 3, 2010 - 3:26 PM
        What we know of as a "caul", is more than likely a workaround version of the coifs that are in PoF4/Laura Melln's web site. It was not until recently that how they were worn was understood, so folks made something that looked close, and that's how we got the large circle gathered into a band "caul".

        I usually think of a real "caul" as being made of a net or cord of some sort, not made of fabric. A caul has different shapes, depending on region and time frame, as noted in the OED. I see them more often in Italian images, although I have no idea what the Italians called them. I think some German men also wear these net things, and Cherylyn would let us know what those are called in German. They are not snoods.

        Flat caps, well, we know some were knitted, as that's how they survived. In paintings, it is hard to determine if a hat is knitted, felted, or made from woven material. I tend to think of flat caps as looking like the hat on this fellow, although this comes from Henry's reign.

        The flat-cap by the 1570s was almost exclusively worn in England/London by apprentices, shopkeepers, artisans, and citizens, and was called the 'City flat-cap'. They were out of fashion among the nobility. I've been trying to encourage high ranking men (& women) to give up wearing the flat cap during our Elizabethan faires, as they should be wearing more fashionable headwear.

        However, none of this really applies to what you need. I would go with Cherylyn's advice, as she's heavily involved in costuming of the German styles and knows her stuff.

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