|Detail from the Albrecht Von Rapperswil page of the Manesse Codex (Cod. Pal. Germ. 848), c. 1320.|
In the 1320's, hoods for both men and women were one of two versions. The first, and older version was closed in the front below the face opening, requiring it to the pulled on over the head. The second was a fitted version that buttoned closed in the front below the face opening, and was tight against the neck. While the buttoned hood lent itself well to pulling on over other headdress, it was not truly practical for such an application since it didn't leave any room for the extra bulk of a veil. The concept of treating a hood like a slip-on coif was seemingly born out of necessity. Nearly all of the earliest examples of open hoods are worn over veils.
|Detail from fol 33r of the Luttrell Psalter (BL Add. MS 42130), c. 1330.|
To achieve the tippet, as well as a more graceful fit compared to the rectangular hood seen in the Manesse Codex, the hood can be cut as two identical pieces and sewn together over the top and back, around the tippet.
There is little evidence to suggest that the early tippet was anything more than a nub, which may have been stuffed to give it shape and lift, but it's easy to create unique and distinguishing curled tippets since the top of the hood is a seam and not a straight fold. A subtle curve in the back seam creates a fitted look. The length of the 14th century open hood appears to be just to or a few inches passed the shoulder.
|Detail from fol. 117v of the Roman de la Rose (Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Ms 1126), mid-14th century.|
|Detail from fol 29v of the Epistle of Othea (BnF MS French 606), very early 1400.|
After the 1390's, the tippet had grown long enough that it became impractical, and it was traded for the longer, more fashionable liripipe. For the working class, these longer liripipes could act as a turban-like band that, when wrapped around the head, held the hood in place more securely. There may have been a few styles of liripipe that encased the wearer’s hair, (pulled into a braid at the crown of the head) but there are also several examples of a separate liripipe attached to the hood at the crown that would have made such a usage hard to achieve.
|Detail from fol. 143 of the De claris mulieribus (BnF MS French 598), c. 1403.|
|Detail from the September page of the Tres Riches Heures du duc de Berry (Musée de Condé Ms. 65), c. 1485|
|Detail from fol 211v of Le Decameron (Arsenal MS 5070, reserve), circa 1432.|
|Detail from Deposition by Rogier van der Weyden, circa. 1435|
Since the liripipe could be cut either separate or along the fold, the 15th century hood has more in common in its construction with the regular hoods of the time. Using a folded piece of fabric, and orienting the center top to it, allowed the hood have only a single seam up the back. Additional gussets made have also been used at the shoulders. Since the later open hood sported a short flare at the base of the neck, partially covering the shoulders, gussets would have been the only way of creating the curve. The front of the hood, at the face opening, would have also required some extra length and shaping to achieve the wing-shaped brim.
|Detail from fol. 37v of the Roman de la Rose (BL Harley 4425), c. 1490.|
|Portrait of Elizabeth of York, c. 1500.|
Hood color also bears mention. By far, the most common color is red. This may be simply because red was an easy pigment to procure, but more likely, red is so often shown because it truly was more often worn. In the middle ages, the color red was said to ward off evil, and specifically for women, it was worn and used as protection against miscarriage. Besides red, black, blue (a vibrant royal blue), and olive green are the next most popular colors (in order). Yellow is rarely seen, probably because of the stigma of yellow as a sickly color. Color, same as style, appears to be a matter of choice rather than a dictate of occupation. The later hoods worn by nobles are almost exclusively black.
When it comes to material, it is hard to tell from the artwork which type of fabric was used. Extant hood examples, though not of the open hood type, are made of wool. Hoods are often depicted with an interior of the same color, though not always the case, so there is little to prove that all hoods were lined. Given the use of wool, linen and silk in other garments of the era, it can be assumed that hoods would have used the same fabrics. A linen hood is easier to wear in summer, but wool offers more of the structure and weight seen in the artwork. This would appear to be, for recreation purposes, a matter of personal preference.
|Detail from fol. 186r of Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles (MS Hunter 252), c.1500.|
For a more in-depth look at the 15th century "winged" hoods, please check out my post here.
For the pattern, measurements and construction notes for my first two hoods, download the PDF.
For the walk-through of my red wool open hood, see this post.
For the walk-through of my red and blue transitional hood (and a hood timeline), go here.