17 January 2007

History Help

Can someone tell me what this head dress is called? (Click image to enlarge.) I don't think wimple is correct because a wimple is a cloth worn in addition to a hat or head dress -- but I'm new to medieval research. Cowl? Snood? The book from which I found the picture just described it as "a head dress that looks like a turban," which is both obvious and useless. I'd appreciate any help!


Isabella Snow said...

I don't write historical, so this is just a guess! But looks like a wimple to me, I think they were also worn without anything else.. but maybe a head-rail? 15th century Saxon??

Here's a link


Isabella Snow said...

Crap, didn't work.

Well just look here


and you'll see it! :)

Also this:


jennifer said...

the term you might be looking for is caul. i have a medevial costume book and it has a line drawing of what could be your headdress with a turban on top and a fabric covering the rest of her head, they use the term caul frequently when describing the various styles. knew that two and a half feet of costume books had to come in handy. LOL

Isabella Snow said...

But.. isn't a caul those nets that get place over the head on both sides? Like over hairbuns, Princess Leia style? The glossaries I just looked in all said it was a jeweled hair net made of cord??

'CAUL ( kol ) ( 14c., 15c., 16c. ) Headdress of hair arranged at each side of the head in silken cases. Arrangement covered with net of silver or gold cord, inter spaced with jewels and beads. Held in place by a golden headband or crown fitted over the upper edge of the caul. Also GOLDEN NET CAUL, RETICULATED HEADDRESS, CREPINE, CRESTINE, CRESPINETTE."

Not to argue, though! I dunno nuffin about it. You could be righT! ;)

jennifer said...

then you're back to wimple a headdress that looks like a turban.

Anne Whitfield - author said...

What it is, is a Gorget. The gorget is one whole head piece that goes over the head and down around the neck and shoulders - tight fitting -sort of like a hood of a sweatshirt. Then a metal or stiff material band sits around top of the head, either in a contrasting colour or die the same colour as the gorget.
Era - around 1272 -1377

Tess said...

See these sites:


The last one will take some reading, but the info is usually pretty reliable.

Medieval costume is tricky - there are lots of books on it as well. I'll see what I can dig up when I get a chance. Most of my books are in storage right now :-(

carrie_lofty said...

I have decided to go with the term "caul" for a number of reasons. First, the modern term is one that brings a similar image to mind without being too difficult to explain or process. I'm thinking of readers who are compeltely unfamiliar with medieval clothing. "Caul" is like "cowl," and the result in the brain is a similar look. Second, this drawing is for a mid-late 12th c. gown, and my WIP is set in 1200. So gorgets were not in fashion yet. Keeping it simple, focusing on the story instead -- this research has taken too much of my attention already, darn it!

Thanks for all your help, ladies.