Medieval Hats

During medieval times head coverings were an important part of people’s dress and many different kinds of medieval hats and head coverings were prevalent during this period.

Wimple *Medieval Headwear

Respectable women were expected to keep their hair under cover and Linen Wimples were popular with medieval women. The Wimple could be worn in different ways and there were various types.

  • Wimples were made from Linen derived from the Flax Seed plant
  • Wealthy Noble women wore Wimples
  • Servants helped Noblewomen arrange head coverings
  • Wimples were created from two Linen strips


Coif *Medieval Headwear

The culture of wearing hats existed during early medieval times but became more common during the middle and late medieval times.

Hats and head coverings were a sign of respectability during the medieval period and people would not have wanted to be seen in public without some form of head covering being worn.

  • Coifs were made of Linen derived from the Flax Seeed Plant
  • Coifs were very popular medieval head coverings
  • Coifs were often worn under hats
  • Coifs could be tied under the chin
  • Coifs could be worn in bed

 

Coif-Popular-Medieval-headgear

Coif *Popular Medieval Headgear



A medieval hat or head covering was considered an essential component of the complete attire and continued to remain popular even beyond medieval times. Hats were relatively simple during the early medieval times but became more elaborate during the middle and late medieval periods.

Various Styles of Medieval Hats

Types of Medieval Hats

A variety of medieval hat types were popular during different eras. For instance, there was a wide-brimmed floppy hat that was used by both men and women. These types of hats were popular among peasants as they helped to keep their faces in the shade and keep them cool as they toiled away in the Lord’s fields.

Nobles also liked these types of hats, although the quality of cloth varied with the social status of the person.

Other kinds of medieval hats include leather cavalier hats, muffin hats, Capitano hats, and others.

Who made Medieval Hats?

Tailors were hired by nobility and rich merchants to make their clothes as well as medieval hats. Thus customised hats with elaborate styles could be ordered. The common people and the peasantry, on the other hand, usually purchased ready-made hats or sometimes made them at home. Peasant women could sew and embroider them when required. Various materials were used to make medieval hats, including wool, silk, linen, leather, cotton, etc.

Medieval-Hat-Maker-Hatter

Medieval Hats for Men

Various popular medieval hats were used by men. Hats and hoods were common during the early medieval times and with the passage of time, hats began to be used as a status symbol. During the late medieval times, small hats with a round crown were popular medieval hats for men which also included a turn-down brim. Hats with turned-up side-brims were also popular and had a stylish band with buckles.

  • Early medieval hats were of the basic design made from basic materials
  • Medieval hats became popular during later medieval periods, and designs and styles became more elaborate
  • Popular medieval hats were the leather cavalier hat, the muffin hat, and the Capitano hat
  • The nobility often had their hats custom-made as their status symbol increased
  • Medieval peasants or commoners usually made their own hats or bought ready-made medieval hats

Medieval Hats for Women

Women also used various medieval hats which were sometimes quite elaborately decorated. Among the women of the lower classes, the straw hat was the most famous medieval hat.

Another popular medieval hat for women was The Hennin which was similar to a traditional Turkish fez. Tall, pointed hennins became popular for women in medieval Europe.

Medieval-Hennin-Hat-Womens-Medieval-Hat

Medieval Hennin Hat

Medieval Hats for Nobility

Nobility made use of different kinds of medieval hats which were worn on different occasions. Caps with a round crown and upstanding brim became popular during the reign of Richard I King of England from 1189 until his death in 1199.

The Chaperon was another popular medieval hood and later hat for nobles and became particularly popular during the 14th century.

Medieval-Hats-Chaperon-Hat

Chaperon Hat

 

A hat called a “torque” was used by noble women while travelling.

Medieval Hats History

Medieval hats underwent several transformations in style and purpose over the centuries. During the early medieval times, the styles were simple and the main purpose of hats was merely the protection of the head. During the middle medieval times, contact with the East and an increase in trade brought considerable wealth in Europe and, just like clothes in general, hats also became a symbol of social status. This trend continued in the late medieval times and beyond.

Medieval Hats Summary

Several styles and features of medieval hats have remained popular at one point or another. Straw hats were most commonly used among peasants of medieval times. The nobility, on the other hand, wore a variety of hats that were elaborately decorated and reflected their social status.

  • The most common hat worn by medieval women was the straw hat
  • The Hennin hat which was similar to a Turkish fez was also popular with medieval women
  • Medieval women who were travelling wore a hat called a torque which was popular in medieval times
  • During later medieval periods different hat designs became more popular due to advancements in production
  • Many more materials became available to medieval people for medieval hats as merchants travelled the world

We hope you enjoyed this article on medieval hats if you’d like to learn more about medieval clothing, in general, please look at the links at the bottom of this medieval hats page, this will give you an idea of the types of clothes worn with different styles of medieval hats.

Royal Child in Medieval Hat

Edward VI child wearing a feathered hat